Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Whole Family Baptism – Part 1: An Introduction

Later this month Leslie and I will become members of Village Seven Presbyterian Church here in Colorado Springs. When we become members we will have our four children baptized (Karis 9, Isaiah 7, Gloria 6, and Abigail 1). We are not asking any of our children to make a public profession of faith before they are baptized. We are not even asking our children if they want to be baptized (though I will talk to them about why we are doing this). So why are we doing this?

Full Disclosure:

1) I was brought up in Baptist churches, so I know what I have to say here will be jarring to my Baptist friends and family

2) I married a godly woman who was baptized in an Episcopal church as an infant; could it be I’m succumbing to the influence of my wife like Solomon did of old?

3) My family and I were not accepted for membership this past year at the best Baptist church in town because of Leslie’s being baptized as an infant. I love this church and would recommend it to any Baptist living in the Colorado Springs area. It has by far the best expository preaching in town.

4) I thought I already figured this out once or twice before. I’ve moved back and forth on this issue for the past ten years, though I’ve never actually gone through with baptizing our children.

So, this issue is now settled in my mind. How did I get here? I did not get here easily. I’ve read many books and pamphlets on the subject by those on both sides of the issue. While these books have been helpful in showing me all the possible contours of this issue, not one of the authors made their case well enough to settle the issue for me, and it is my guess that no one will be convinced by what I’ll post here. This is only an apology for those who care about how I arrived at my position.

In the posts to follow over the next several days, I hope to trace out the following:

1) My Baptist upbringing
2) My baptism as an adult
3) My introduction to paedobaptism
4) My initial objections to paedobaptism
5) My move toward paedobaptism
6) My last objection to paedobaptism answered
7) My embracing paedobaptism

While I will use the conventional language of the debate (i.e., paedobaptism to refer to the baptism of infants, and credobaptism or believer’s baptism to refer to the baptism of professing adults), note that I’ve titled these posts as “Whole Family Baptism” which accords better with the words of Scripture (Acts 16:15,33).

More later.


C Timm said...

I'll refrain from calling you a heretic until I've read your arguments in there entirety. I'm kidding of course!

I look forward to reading what you post. I too struggle with this issue but I haven't done much research on the subject. I grew up Lutheran, was baptized as an infant but now consider myself an evangelical Calvinist. I can't yet claim to be a Baptist since we haven't joined our church. I was secretly hoping Bethlehem's Eldership would accept the proposal for looser enforcement of their baptismal requirement for memebership so I could become a member without having to be dunked as a adult. My reasoning is likely due more to simplicity than it is a theological conviction however.

On the surface though my struggle is with reconciling the need for a public declaration of faith as an adult believer with God's sovereignty in salvation.

Christopher said...

Hey Chad,

Not sure where or when in these postings, but I have thought about the public declaration part of all this. I'll let you know what I think as I go along.

Thanks for not picking up stones just yet.