While Matt, Derek, and Andrew practice staying in-place, they decide to take up the topic of who the proper subjects of baptism are? Derek argues for the legitimacy of paedobaptism, Andrew argues for the credobaptist view, Matt moderates, and fun is had by all. Even amidst the pandemic that the world is experiencing, topics like the sacraments always remain salient for the church. And while it may be important for us to discuss and perhaps debate how to respond to our current public health crisis, it remains important to continue to discuss one of the things that only the church does and is marked by: baptism.
Intro + The guys give an update on how they’re doing in quarantine [0:00 – 1:52]
What did it take for Derek to become persuaded by the paedobaptist view of baptism? [1:52 – 8:20]
Similarly, what did it take for Andrew to be persuaded that it is not licit to baptize infants? [8:20 – 12:10]
Question for Andrew: When we think about the faith that could be confirmed by the church and be expressed through our entrance in the church through baptism, 1) what is the nature of this faith that allows for entrance to occur, and 2) what do we do for people who have cognitive disabilities that would make it difficult for them to evaluate their own faith? [12:10 – 21:00]
Andrew quotes/references Colossians 2:12-14: 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses
Question for Derek: Whose faith is being recognized in infant baptism, is the parent’s faith vicariously recognized in the paedobaptist view? [21:00 – 32:15]
Derek quotes/references Genesis 15 and 17, as well as Colossians 2: 11, In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ…
Andrew responds to Derek’s claim that the burden of proof is on the baptist view that there is a discontinuity between the subjects of circumcision and baptism [32:15 – 36:26]
Derek follows-up [36:26 – 39:19]
He references the household baptisms in Acts (e.g., Ch. 16) and that the children of believing parents are called “holy” in 1 Corinthians 7:14
Andrew rebuts and claims that circumcision and baptism do not directly correspond [39:19 – 40:55]
Final question: What is the correlation between baptism and regeneration? + Conclusion [40:55 – 50:27]
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Finally, as always, follow Derek, Andrew, and Alastair for more tweet-sized brilliance. Thanks to Timothy Motte for his sound editing work. And thanks to The Joy Eternal for lending us their music, which everybody should download out of gratitude for their kindness.
[…] decision was sparked off by the chaps at Mere Fidelity who just recorded a podcast on the topic and I was in full agreement with Andrew Wilson and frustrated by Derek Rishmawy’s […]
11:35 Andrew “keeps going back to the NT.” I hate to say it but it really seems like Andrew – like Baptists in general – is a bit of a semi-Marcionite. The OT (also referred to by covenant theologians and the NT writers as “the scriptures” ;-) ) remains essential to understanding what is going on in the NT, so I would object that you can’t just pick up the NT and start guessing at what is being taught…
For example, at 32:33 Andrew claims that when “you don’t have instances of things in the NT the burden of proof is on you” – and yet…
The use of musical instruments in worship is not explicitly prescribed in the Bible for the NT Church. Does his church use musical instruments?
Jesus gave the Last Supper to his male disciples and Paul castigates the “brothers” in 1Cor11:33 when he teaches about the Lord’s Supper…and I bet that Andrew cannot name a single woman in the NT who is clearly shown to be taking Communion. But I bet his church allows women to participate.
I noticed online that his church has female pastors… Again, can he demonstrate an instance in the NT?
Which makes it look like Andrew may have a made-up Bible rule that only applies to infant baptism…
A lot of Andrew’s issues in the discussion go back to Col 2:
Col2:11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses…
The passage is a parallel between circumcision and baptism, with “putting off the flesh” pointing to the ritual cleansing aspect of physical circumcision that is fully realized in spiritual circumcision. Andrew mistakenly appeals to Col 2 as an example of “discontinuity in the covenants” but circumcision has always been equated perfectly with true and acceptable faith in the scriptures:
Deut10:16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn
Deut30:6 And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.
Jer9:25 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will punish all those who are circumcised merely in the flesh…
The confusion seems to stem from Andrew thinking that the “baptism” in the passage is referring to water baptism…supposing problematically that it is water baptism which unites us with Christ?
I grew up Baptist so I definitely see how “having been buried with him in baptism” looks like modern Western burial – you bury someone 6 feet under and when the zombie comes back to life, he claws up through the dirt and bursts back above the ground and it all looks kinda like baptism by immersion. I get it.
But Jesus died as He was “raised up” on a cross and He was buried sideways into a cave-type tomb and walked out horizontally after the stone was rolled away. Col2:12 and Gal3:27 both point to “baptism” uniting us to Christ. But just as Gal3:27 is not intending us to think that the process of water baptism is supposed to look like putting on clothes – which I’m optimistic that we all agree on – it’s not necessary to understand Col 2 as painting a picture of what water baptism is supposed to visibly look like. I think Baptists start with the notion that the picture seems to fit their immersion process, so they miss the larger point that it’s not about the water baptism at all.
Mark1:8 (John taught,) “I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
The one thing we all agree on is that Jesus really does practice “believer’s baptism.” I believe that only Jesus knows people completely. In Acts 10 when Jesus baptizes Cornelius and the gentiles in his house (by “pouring out” the Holy Spirit described as “falling” from above), it’s because they have authentic faith. That baptism by the Spirit is the true baptism that washes/renews us and unites us to Jesus – that is what Col2:12 is talking about (and note that Jesus didn’t wait for their water baptism to make them “alive together with Him”). It’s this baptism without hands or water that parallels spiritual circumcision. This gets to what Presbyies are going on about when they talk about the sign (taking a knife Down Under/water baptism) and the thing signified (Spirit circumcision/Spirit baptism)
But unlike Jesus, the NT church did not practice believer’s baptism as assumed by Andrew at 40:00 – humans are not capable of it. 48:06 – what Andrew describes as a “muddle,” is exactly what the 1st century “apostolic” Church looked like – that’s Paul’s point in 1Cor5 – the church baptized this person, but now he’s shacked up with his step-mother, so you need to deny him the Lord’s Supper (48:17 – “not even to eat with such” 1Cor5:11) and kick him out (notice also that Paul appeals to continuity by using the OT covenant language of “purging the evil from among you.”)
Similarly when Peter dropped the hammer on Simon Magus after he was baptized in Acts 8:20, “May your silver perish with you!”
1John2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.
1Tim1:19…holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith, 20 among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.
Far from Andrew’s romanticized notions of the 1st century church, the visible people of God has always been administrated imperfectly by human beings. That’s why Andrew’s notion that spiritual circumcision is paralleled with the practice of water baptism by humans in Colossians 2 is so jarring. Water baptism is a covenant sign that connects us to the visible Church…but it cannot do more than that and you shouldn’t confuse the sign with the real thing (washing by the Spirit) that the sign is merely pointing to. That’s why it’s important to look at the OT to understand the culture in which these water baptisms are occurring. If you don’t understand circumcision, then you’re going to get baptism wrong also.