Andrew, Derek, and I are joined by Dr Peter Leithart to discuss his recent book in the Lexham Christian Essentials series, Baptism: A Guide to Life from Death.
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Wondering whether or not you see a tight connection between baptism and circumcision? If yes, why no mention of it in Galatians/Romans? If no, what’s going on with Colossians 2:11-12?
As you have shared in several places, you came from a Reformed Baptist theological background and later moved to an Anglican setting. I am in a similar situation where most of my theological background and education has been in a Reformed Baptist context, yet I have been on the edge of embracing infant baptism for several years now.
Could you speak to what pushed you over the edge on the issue of infant baptism? Did you switch to that view quite easily? Or was it a long journey?
I want to give some background as to where I am in thinking through this: The basic Presbyterian arguments don’t fully persuade me, though they are compelling. I also don’t want to put all my theological chips in the scant references to infant faith, as some in the Lutheran circles might. I have followed Peter Leithart for some time now, and he and Leonard Vander Zee have been perhaps the most helpful and persuasive in this conversation. In many ways Leithart’s Baptized Body has ruined me for thinking about the covenant community as made up of those who are half way in and those who are fully in, which goes against typical Presbyterian view. Yet, I am also cautious to embrace Leithart’s position full on, because I don’t think I can get on board with predestined real apostasy, as he seems to hold in that book. Yet, the Baptist demand that the church be a regenerate covenant community and their insistence on a link between repentance and baptism hold me back from embracing paedobaptism entirely.
I imagine that you’d find yourself near Leithart’s views in some ways, but I would love to hear from you some of the biblical support for infant baptism that original compelled you to embrace the position and also how your views have developed since then. Also, how, in your view, does your position on paedobaptism relate to paedo-communion? And if you could recommend some books that depict your general position well.
As a paedobaptist, I am curious how would you respond to the credobaptist argument from the nature of the new covenant as described in Jer 31:31–34. They argue that Jeremiah pictures the newness of the new covenant consisting in its being made with an entirely regenerate/forgiven/saved community. Credobaptists then would argue that this change in the nature of the covenant people implies a change in the administration of the covenant sign as well, such that it should now only be applied to those who evidence themselves to be regenerate by means of a credible profession of faith. In addressing this question, I would love to hear your basic view of how the various covenants in Scripture relate to one another and develop over time.