Sent: Friday, July 01, 2005 7:55 PM

A gentlemen on my mailing list is obviously not acquainted with the Pedobaptist (baby baptizers) theological writings, and thus he wrote to say, "Bob, I am staggered at your totally unfounded statements." He says that what I represented to be the Reformed Pedobaptist view on infant regeneration is "100% false."

He goes on to ask, "Where O where is your consistency and Christian charity? Do you always have to be so negative? It undermines much of the good work you do."

As a Baptist, it is not merely that I am "negative" or lack in Christian charity, but the fact that I understand the Bible to teach the baptism of believers and that baptized believers to be received into the church as members.

Surely, the Pedobaptists who believe in infant regeneration, infant baptism, and infant membership are no doubt, by a the very nature of the case, just as "negative" toward the Baptist point of view as I am toward the Pedobaptist point of view. And as for charity, I think I do have charity in not making this ecclesiastical difference a "test" of one's basic Christianity.

For this gentleman's benefit and for the benefit of others who are not aware that the Pedobaptists do indeed believe in the very early regeneration of children born to believers, here are a few quotes from some of the well-known theologians who represent Reformed thinking:


"Infant baptism does not confer the regenerating Spirit, but is a sign that he either HAS BEEN, or WILL BE conferred, in accordance with the divine COVENANT OF GRACE. The actual conferring of the Holy Spirit may be PRIOR to baptism, or IN THE ACT itself, or SUBSEQUENT TO IT. . . . the regenerating grace of the Spirit, signified and sealed by the rite, may be imparted WHEN the infant is baptized, or PREVIOUSLY, or at a FUTURE TIME." (Dogmatic Theology, Volume 2, page 575.


"LUTHER . . . made the efficacy of baptism dependent on the faith of the recipient; but when he reflected on the fact that infants cannot exercise faith, he was inclined to believe that God by His prevenient grace wrought an incipient faith in them through baptism; . . . . Reformed theologians solve the problem by calling attention to three things, which may be regarded as alternatives, but may also be combined. (1) It is possible to proceed on the assumption (not the certain knowledge) that the children offered for baptism are regenerated and are therefore in possession of the semen fidei (the seed of faith); and to hold that God through baptism in some mystical way, which we do not understand, strengthens this seed of faith in the child" (Systematic Theology, pages 641, 642).


As regeneration is a change wrought by creative power in the inherent moral condition of the soul, infants may plainly be the subject of it in precisely the same sense as adults; in both cases the operation is miraculous, and therefore inscrutable. The fact is established by what the Scriptures teach of innate depravity, of infant salvation, of infant circumcision and baptism" (Outlines of Theology, page 464).


"It does not follow from this that the benefits of redemption may not be conferred on infants at the time of their baptism. That is in the hands of God. What is to hinder the imputation to them of the righteousness of Christ, or their receiving the renewing of the Holy Ghost [i. e. regeneration], so that their whole nature may be developed in a state of reconciliation with God? Doubtless this often occurs" (Systematic Theology, Volume 3, page 590).

The Pedobaptist theory is based on an elaborate effort bya their scholars to prove that the "covenant" with Abraham in the Old Testament, involving the circumcision of infants, is perpetuated in the New Testament church, and supposedly believing parents are required to have their offspring baptized in infancy.

Historically, Baptists have rejected this concept and do not practice infant baptism, infant church membership, and do not believe that regeneration is a "covenant" blessing which takes place in infancy in the case of children born to believers..

-- Bob L. Ross

MY APOLOGIES: I somehow inadvertently sent an article to some of my mailing list "CC" in an earlier mailing. This was not intentional, and I apologize.

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