PEEVISH: In “Reformed” Style

Something I posted over at Andrew Fuller Study Center:

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Clark says: “Baptists were not recognized as Reformed. Why not? Because paedobaptism was regarded as essential to the Reformed faith.”

Okay. And why should I care if this notion of “REFORMED” faith is something I fit into as Clark says I should? Brothers, let Clark have his playpen-understanding of “REFORMED”. Let him kick and scream that we are “have-not’s”. Let him have his corner. Let him make more of “REFORMED” than the essence of Christianity…Christ crucified, our only boast.

Of course we are thankful for the Gospel-awakening that took place during Reformational times. We’d be arrogant if we didn’t appreciate and learn from the unveiling of the Gospel in those days. However, shame on us (!) if we fail to keep our focus upon Christ alone, boasting about Him!

Let’s bear with our brother, Clark, who sees us as misfits, stepchildren, stillborns. He will bear (even so now) the consequence of clinging more tightly to a debatable doctrine, than he does us in Christ.

Let’s bear our brother up in prayer before the Father of all believers.

(((PS…Clark’ demeanor reminds me of my own when I’m peeved at those I once stood with, whom I once thought well of, but afterward see them as betraying me in this way or that.)))

Debate: Baptism

Here are links to the *baptism debate* between Schreiner and VanDrunen.

Here: Grace Reformation Church

Here: Introduction

Here: Credobaptist View: by Tom Schreiner

Here: Paedobaptist View: by David VanDrunen

Here: Q&A Session

 

Both of these men expressed in a most charitable manner their own particular views.  Well done!

Personally, I most appreciate Schreiner’s argument.  In these sessions he accomplishes more to define a sound biblical/theological view than even the book he co-edited, entitled Believer’s Baptism.  The book was decent, but here in this debate he presents a rather cogent argument of faith in the *word* of the Gospel preceding the *sign* of the Gospel. 

At the end of the day, Schreiner demonstrates what a consistent redemptive-historical scope of Scripture should look like, particularly as it applies to Christ’s person and work being the resolve of all Old Testament covenants.  Schreiner’s thinking maintains the biblical-theological momentum that sets the context for understanding New Covenant baptism.

VanDrunen’s comments certainly have appreciable value.  And, he demonstrated well, within his demeanor, the graciousness of the Gospel ministry. 

Elsewhere, Lee Irons explains how that circumcision and baptism are not equal, as is commonly thought among paedoists.  Of course, Lee isn’t arguing a credoist position but is honest enough to admit that this circumcision/baptism line of thinking doesn’t hold up.   (Sorry, I don’t recall exactly where Irons makes such comments, but it is somewhere within his lengthy The Unfolding Mystery series.

A hearty thanks to Grace Reformation Church for hosting and sharing this debate.  It provides a great resource for us who once baptised our infants and now understand differently.  As we listened to the entirety of the debate, my 13yr old twins and 15yr old had opportunity to hear both sides and be able to see something of the concerns that dear old dad (and mom!) had/has, which disrupted our relations with the local Presbyterian church.  It was interesting to hear their comments that were prompted by the arguments themselves. 

For me personally, it was coming to understand the currents of redemptive history that caused me (after years of consciously embracing a paedoist systematic) to question the validity of what is now seen as a rather mono-lithic view, paedoism.  Actually, as I studied Vos, Kline, Ridderbos, Calvin, Goldsworthy, Irons, Riddlebarger and others, their fine two-age/two-adam/two-kingdom/law|gospel hermeneutic began to cause me to question their handling of the promise/fulfillment in Christ as it pertained to baptism.  As this developed over the course of a few years, I began to take a closer look at the ‘proof texts’ for paedoism, and became convinced otherwise.  It was then, that, I began to listen to what Baptist’s had to say and found some of it to be quite weak.  In time, I happened upon materials by folks like Schreiner, which helped confirm what I was now seeing in the Text.