Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Lamentations #3

Benjamin Warfield is one of the greatest theologians born in America. His defense of the faith was renowned in a day when Neoorthodoxy and liberalism were running rampant. His defense of the inerrancy of scripture, protection of the church from false signs and wonders and rebuke of the perfectionists still need to be heeded this day. His defense of the practice of infant baptism, however, shows us even the most rational of men can fall prey to irrationalism and traditionalism. Benjamin, when defending infant baptism from an attack by the Baptist theologian Augustus Strong as to why paedobaptists have no consistency with one another on the practice, said in his Polemics p. 406 as quoted in the book Infant Baptism and the Covenant of Grace by Paul Jewett, " Let us confess that we do not all argue alike or aright, but is this not the proof rather of the firm establishment in our hearts of the practice? We all practice alike and it is the propriety of our practice, not the propriety of our defense of it, that is, after all, at stake."

Benjamin should have known that true Christianity bases its practice on scripture and not on tradition or "our hearts". Matthew 28:19 says to make disciples first and then baptise them, Mark 16:16 again qualifies baptism for believers, Acts 2:38 commands to repent and then be baptized and verse 41 goes on to show only "those who had received his word were baptized". 1 Peter 3:15 says to "always be ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you...". If paedobaptism is a Christian practice it should be scriptural and there should be a consensus on why it is performed.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Very good point. This is why we must perpetually return to the Scriptures to have our minds renewed by the truth of God.