Friday, November 27, 2020

Why I believe in baptizing babies (condensed version)

I grew up with the traditional Baptist view, typically referred to as "believers baptism". It is theologically known as credobaptism, or baptism with a profession of faith.

Over the years, as I shifted towards Presbyterianism, which holds to infant baptism or paedobaptism for children of believers, I sought to really understand where I stood and began studying the Scriptures and some teachers on both positions.

The doctrine of baptism is not the only thing that differentiates the 2 denominations, but it is a significant doctrinal element that deserves due consideration and I confess that I have gone back and forth over the years. That being said, I have landed on the side of infant baptism for the following reasons:

  1. The Old Covenant (OC) was replaced by the New Covenant (NC) under Christ
  2. Under the OC, the requirement for a visible sign and seal of membership in the physical and spiritual Kingdom was circumcision that was administered to infants and adults
  3. This visible sign and seal in the NC is baptism
  4. The OC requirement that a Kingdom membership sign and seal be given to infants was never rescinded
  5. Jesus' kind disposition towards children is clearly demonstrated in Scripture
  6. Therefore, the NC visible sign and seal should be given to infants
Now, I know that many Baptists argue that there is no specific instance of an infant being baptized recorded in the New Testament, but that is really an argument from silence. With that in mind, I don't see any good reason not to hold to the continuation of giving the sign and seal of Kingdom membership to the children of believers.

Finally, just to be clear, this doctrine is inclusive of adult confessional baptism.

If you are working through this doctrine or just trying to understand the different positions, I hope this is helpful.

(NOTE: This post only relates to the 2 views mentioned here, not other denominational views.)

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Stop rejecting Christ in matters of science!

I have seen this time and time again - a professed Bible-believing (Biblical) Christian gets into a debate/discussion with an unbeliever or someone that believes the earth and universe are billions of years old (sometimes referred to as "deep time") and they are challenged to "follow the evidence", such as radiometric dating, red shift, geological formations, etc. as incontrovertible proof. 

The proposition being that this evidence is heavily weighted toward an ancient earth and universe, which then allows for the extreme amount of time necessary for evolutionary processes to occur and man to evolve from "goo to you".

This viewpoint is commonly known as a material naturalistic worldview. "Material" in the sense that the universe is basically composed of matter and energy and "Natural" in the sense that all things in the universe are basically governed by the 4 laws of nature, with no other processes (e.g., God) needed. This is the worldview that has been adopted wholeheartedly by atheistic scientists and the rest of the secular world in terms of representations in popular science, art, news media, etc.

Now, there are variants of this worldview that include belief in God that try to reconcile the natural universe with a god that is basically a "clock maker" who put all the laws in place and started the mechanism, then has basically been "hands off" since then.

The challenge that many Biblical Christians have is that they are fundamentally opposed to these frameworks, but are not prepared to defend against them. Some, not wanting to be seen in the same camp as flat-earthers and other fringe groups, begin subconsciously capitulating to the prior worldviews.

For a Biblical Christian, we have to take into account that we believe in a God that is above and beyond nature (i.e., supernatural). Whereas the material naturalistic viewpoint proposes that all things require a beginning, we believe that God is the Uncreated Creator. He has no beginning or end and determines the order of all things, including the universe and all in it.

How this plays out when we are confronted and challenged by these worldviews should be uncompromising alignment to Scriptural principles. Natural law and the material universe are all subject to the sovereign will of God and are as malleable to Him as the scripted worlds of video games are to programmers. Time, matter and energy are all elements that He can adjust, at will, to meet His goals. Thus, all the natural evidence must be balanced against the supernatural influence of God and how it aligns to His revealed Word.

This then, gives us ammunition to rebut these other worldviews, reject the concept of deep time and discard evolutionary theories that ultimately seek to tear down Man's special place and the foundations of Christian scientific, moral and social influence.

Scripture clearly states that Creation exists only to glorify God through Christ (Col 1:16), therefore when we succumb to the temptation of adopting, even partly, the proposal of material naturalistic worldviews, we essentially are rejecting Scripture and Christ.

Christians are called to "test everything and keep the good" (1 Thess 5:21) with the Word of God as our basis for understanding all things (2 Tim 3:16-17). Guard your mind and build a ready defense (1 Peter 3:15) when you are assailed by the zeitgeist (spirit of the time), knowing that the ultimate fate of your soul and that of the universe resides in the hands of a sovereign, loving and just God. He has prepared the good work of defending your faith before the foundation of time so that others can see it, be persuaded as He has prepared their hearts (or not) and result in greater glory to God!



Why I believe in baptizing babies (condensed version)

I grew up with the traditional Baptist view, typically referred to as " believers baptism ". It is theologically known as credobap...