Thoughts on Covenantal Baptism
(I’ve been meaning to write my thoughts on baptism for some time. Today I had the time and I was in good health so here it is. I was nervous when I wrote this for several reasons. First, I have many reformed paedobaptist friends. I have no desire to offend anyone, and I hope I have represented them accurately. Second, I went through a “debate” phase already. I have no desire to do so anymore, unless necessary. I am not seeking to convince or convert anybody to my point of view. However, I do realise that putting this out there for public consumption will make it a matter of debate. Debate was not my reason for putting this out. My desire is to stop both sides from dancing around the external, systematic arguments (subjects of baptism, history of baptism, definition of baptism, mode of baptism, the regulative principle) and get to the heart of the matter, the foundation from which all those other arguments flow. And to do so simply and plainly. Very well, then. Here it is.)
SETTING THE STAGE
In the past there have been several matters of difference between Covenantal and Confessional Paedobaptists and the Covenantal and Confessional Credobaptists.
They were: 1) Ecclesiology, 2) Civil Magistrate; and 3) Covenant of Grace (Included in no. 3 are the Regulative Principle and Subjects of Baptism).
Regarding Ecclesiology, the Congregationalists (those subscribing to the Savoy Declaration) and some Reformed (those subscribing to the Three Forms of Unity) have come to the Credobaptist position on Ecclesiology. So Ecclesiology is no longer a matter of difference between the reformed paedo and credo.
Regarding the Civil Magistrate, the Congregational, and some Reformed, and Presbyterians (those subscribing to the Westminster Standards) have come to the Credobaptist position on the Civil Magistrate. In Continental Europe (Reformed) and in the British Commonwealth (Presbyterian) these are known as “Free” churches. So the CIvil Magistrate is no longer a matter of difference between the reformed paedo and credo.
That leaves one last (irreconcilable?) difference between the reformed paedo and credo. Most people think the difference is the subjects (and mode) of baptism. It’s not. It’s about Historia Salutis and Prototype. For if the paedos are correct in appealing to Abraham as if he were a Prototype, then, in my opinion, they are correct about the subjects of baptism.
No, the issue of difference between us is within our respective Historia Salutis. The subjects of Baptism are a result of this doctrine. Also, to get to this doctrine from scripture the reformed paedo must add to the Regulative Principle “good and necessary inference”.
OUR COMMON COVENANT THEOLOGY
Firstly, we all agree that before the foundation of the world God decreed some to everlasting life.
Belgic Confession, Article XVI – Eternal Election
We believe that, all the posterity of Adam being thus fallen into perdition and ruin by the sin of our first parents, God then did manifest Himself such as He is; that is to say, merciful and just: merciful, since He delivers and preserves from this perdition all whom He in His eternal and unchangeable counsel of mere goodness has elected in Christ Jesus our Lord, without any respect to their works; just, in leaving others in the fall and perdition wherein they have involved themselves.
Heidelberg Catechism, 54. Q. What do you believe concerning the holy catholic Christian church?
A. I believe that the Son of God, out of the whole human race, from the beginning of the world to its end, gathers, defends, and preserves for Himself,  by His Spirit and Word, in the unity of the true faith, a church chosen to everlasting life. And I believe that I am and forever shall remain a living member of it.
 John 10:11; Acts 20:28; Eph. 4:11-13; Col. 1:18.
 Gen. 26:4; Rev. 5:9.
 Is. 59:21; I Cor. 11:26.
 Ps. 129:1-5; Matt. 16:18; John 10:28-30.
 Rom. 1:16; 10:14-17; Eph. 5:26.
 Acts 2:42-47; Eph. 4:1-6.
 Rom. 8:29; Eph. 1:3-14.
 I John 3:14, 19-21.
 Ps. 23:6; John 10:27, 28; I Cor. 1:4-9; I Pet. 1:3-5.
Canons of Dort, First Head of Doctrine
Article 6: God’s Eternal Decision
The fact that some receive from God the gift of faith within time, and that others do not, stems from his eternal decision. For “all his works are known to God from eternity” (Acts 15:18; Eph. 1:11). In accordance with this decision he graciously softens the hearts, however hard, of his chosen ones and inclines them to believe, but by his just judgment he leaves in their wickedness and hardness of heart those who have not been chosen. And in this especially is disclosed to us his act — unfathomable, and as merciful as it is just — of distinguishing between people equally lost. This is the well-known decision of election and reprobation revealed in God’s Word. This decision the wicked, impure, and unstable distort to their own ruin, but it provides holy and godly souls with comfort beyond words.
Article 7: Election
Election [or choosing] is God’s unchangeable purpose by which he did the following:
Before the foundation of the world, by sheer grace, according to the free good pleasure of his will, he chose in Christ to salvation a definite number of particular people out of the entire human race, which had fallen by its own fault from its original innocence into sin and ruin. Those chosen were neither better nor more deserving than the others, but lay with them in the common misery. He did this in Christ, whom he also appointed from eternity to be the mediator, the head of all those chosen, and the foundation of their salvation.
And so he decided to give the chosen ones to Christ to be saved, and to call and draw them effectively into Christ’s fellowship through his Word and Spirit. In other words, he decided to grant them true faith in Christ, to justify them, to sanctify them, and finally, after powerfully preserving them in the fellowship of his Son, to glorify them.
God did all this in order to demonstrate his mercy, to the praise of the riches of his glorious grace.
As Scripture says, “God chose us in Christ, before the foundation of the world, so that we should be holy and blameless before him with love; he predestined us whom he adopted as his children through Jesus Christ, in himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, by which he freely made us pleasing to himself in his beloved” (Eph. 1:4-6). And elsewhere, “Those whom he predestined, he also called; and those whom he called, he also justified; and those whom he justified, he also glorified” (Rom. 8:30).
Westminster Confession of Faith
Chapter 3. Of God’s Eternal Decree.
3. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angelsa are predestinated unto everlasting life, and others fore-ordained to everlasting death.b
a. Mat 25:41; 1 Tim 5:21.
b. Prov 16:4; Rom 9:22-23; Eph 1:5-6.
6. As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so hath he, by the eternal and most free purpose of his will, fore-ordained all the means thereunto.a Wherefore they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ,b are effectually called unto faith in Christ by his Spirit working in due season; are justified, adopted, sanctified,c and kept by his power through faith unto salvation.d Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.e
a. Eph 1:4-5; Eph 2:10; 2 Thes 2:13; 1 Pet 1:2.
b. 1 Thes 5:9-10; Titus 2:14.
c. Rom 8:30; Eph 1:5; 2 Thes 2:13.
d. 1 Pet 1:5.
e. John 6:64-65; 8:47; 10:26; 17:9; Rom 8:28-39; 1 John 2:19.
Westminster Larger Catechism Q13: What hath God especially decreed concerning angels and men?
A13: God, by an eternal and immutable decree, out of his mere love, for the praise of his glorious grace, to be manifested in due time, hath elected some angels to glory; and in Christ hath chosen some men to eternal life, and the means thereof: and also, according to his sovereign power, and the unsearchable counsel of his own will (whereby he extendeth or withholdeth favor as he pleases), hath passed by and foreordained the rest to dishonor and wrath, to be for their sin inflicted, to the praise of the glory of his justice.
1. I Tim. 5:21
2. Eph. 1:4-6; II Thess. 2:13-14
3. Rom. 9:17-18, 21-22; Matt. 11:25-26; II Tim. 2:20; Jude 1:4; I Peter 2:8
2nd London Baptist Confession of Faith
3. By the decree of God for the manifestation of his glory (g) some men and Angels, are predestinated, or fore-ordained to Eternal Life, through Jesus Christ to the (h) praise of his glorious grace; others being left to act in their sin to their (i) just condemnation, to the praise of his glorious justice.
g 1 Tim. 5.21. Mat. 25.41.
h Eph. 1.5,6.
i Rom. 9.22,23. Jud. 4.
6. As God hath appointed the Elect unto glory, so he hath by the eternal and most free purpose of his will, fore-ordained (o) all the means thereunto, wherefore they who are elected, being faln in Adam, (p) are redeemed by Christ, are effectually (q) called unto faith in Christ, by his spirit working in due season, are justifyed, adopted, sanctified, and kept by his power through faith (r) unto salvation; neither are any other redeemed by Christ, or effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the Elect (s) only.
o 1 Pet. 1.2. 2 Thes. 2.13.
p 1 Thes. 5.9,10.
q Rom. 8.30. 2 Thes. 2.13.
r 1 Pet. 1.5.
s Joh. 10.26. Joh. 17.9. Joh. 6.64.
Secondly, we all agree that God made a Covenant with Adam in the pre-fall garden of Eden. The reformed documents refer to this covenant as the “First Covenant”, the “Covenant of Works”, and the “Covenant of Life”.
Thirdly, and finally, we all agree that after The Fall, God made another covenant with Adam and Eve. The reformed documents refer to this covenant as the “Second Covenant”, the “Covenant of Grace”, and the “New Covenant”.
Belgic Confession, Article 17: The Recovery of Fallen Man
We believe that our good God, by his marvelous wisdom and goodness, seeing that man had plunged himself in this manner into both physical and spiritual death and made himself completely miserable, set out to find him, though man, trembling all over, was fleeing from him.
And he comforted him, promising to give him his Son, “born of a woman,”(31) to crush the head of the serpent, (32) and to make him blessed.
(31) 31 Gal. 4:4
(32) Gen. 3:15
Canons of Dort, Head 2, The Synod rejects the errors of those
II. Who teach that the purpose of Christ’s death was not to establish in actual fact a new covenant of grace by his blood, but only to acquire for the Father the mere right to enter once more into a covenant with men, whether of grace or of works.
For this conflicts with Scripture, which teaches that Christ “has become the guarantee and mediator of a better — “that is, “a new-covenant” (Heb. 7:22; 9:15), “and that a will is in force only when someone has died” (Heb. 9:17).
Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 7. Of God’s Covenant with Man.
1. The distance between God and the creature is so great that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience unto him as their Creator, yet they could never have any fruition of him as their blessedness and reward but by some voluntary condescension on God’s part, which he hath been pleased to express by way of covenant.a
a. 1 Sam 2:25; Job 9:32-33; 22:2-3; 35:7-8; Psa 100:2-3; 113:5-6; Isa 40:13-17; Luke 17:10; Acts 17:24-25.
2. The first covenant made with man was a covenant of works,a wherein life was promised to Adam, and in him to his posterity,b upon condition of perfect and personal obedience.c
a. Gal 3:12.
b. Rom 5:12-20; 10:5.
c. Gen 2:17; Gal 3:10.
3. Man by his fall having made himself incapable of life by that covenant, the Lord was pleased to make a second,a commonly called the covenant of grace: wherein he freely offered unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ, requiring of them faith in him that they may be saved,b and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto life his Holy Spirit, to make them willing and able to believe.c
a. Gen 3:15; Isa 42:6; Rom 3:20-21; 8:3; Gal 3:21.
b. Mark 16:15-16; John 3:16; Rom 10:6, 9; Gal 3:11.
c. Ezek 36:26-27; John 6:44-45.
4. This covenant of grace is frequently set forth in the Scripture by the name of a testament, in reference to the death of Jesus Christ the testator, and to the everlasting inheritance, with all things belonging to it, therein bequeathed.a
a. Luke 22:20; 1 Cor 11:25; Heb 7:22; 9:15-17.
5. This covenant was differently administered in the time of the law and in the time of the gospel:a under the law it was administered by promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, the paschal lamb, and other types and ordinances delivered to the people of the Jews, all fore-signifying Christ to come,b which were for that time sufficient and efficacious, through the operation of the Spirit, to instruct and build up the elect in faith in the promised Messiah,c by whom they had full remission of sins and eternal salvation; and is called the Old Testament.d
a. 2 Cor 3:6-9.
b. Rom 4:11; Col 2:11-12; 1 Cor 5:7; Hebrews 8-10 throughout.
c. John 8:56; 1 Cor 10:1-4; Heb 11:13.
d. Gal 3:7-9, 14.
6. Under the gospel, when Christ the substancea was exhibited, the ordinances in which this covenant is dispensed are the preaching of the Word and the administration of the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper;b which, though fewer in number, and administered with more simplicity and less outward glory, yet in them it is held forth in more fulness, evidence, and spiritual efficacy,c to all nations, both Jews and Gentiles;d and is called the New Testament.e There are not, therefore, two covenants of grace differing in substance, but one and the same under various dispensations.f
a. Col 2:17.
b. Mat 28:19-20; 1 Cor 11:23-25.
c. Jer 31:33-34; Heb 12:22-28.
d. Mat 28:19; Eph 2:15-19.
e. Luke 22:20.
f. Psa 32:1 with Rom 4:3; Acts 15:11; Rom 3:21-23, 30; 4:6, 16-17, 23-24; Gal 3:14, 16; Heb 13:8.
Westminster Shorter Catechism, Q. 12. What special act of providence did God exercise toward man in the estate wherein he was created?
A. When God had created man, he entered into a covenant of life with him, upon condition of perfect obedience; forbidding him to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, upon pain of death. [a]
[a]. Gen. 2:16-17; Jas. 2:10
Q. 20. Did God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin and misery?
A. God having, out of his mere good pleasure, from all eternity, elected some to everlasting life [a,] did enter into a covenant of grace, to deliver them out of the estate of sin and misery, and to bring them into an estate of salvation by a Redeemer [b].
[a]. Acts 13:48; Eph. 1:4-5; II Thess. 2:13-14
[b]. Gen. 3:15; 17:7; Ex. 19:5-6; Jer. 31:31-34; Matt. 20:28; I Cor. 11:25; Heb. 9:15
Westminster Larger Catechism, Q20: What was the providence of God toward man in the estate in which he was created?
A20: The providence of God toward man in the estate in which he was created, was the placing him in paradise, appointing him to dress it, giving him liberty to eat of the fruit of the earth; putting the creatures under his dominion, and ordaining marriage for his help; affording him communion with himself; instituting the sabbath; entering into a covenant of life with him, upon condition of personal, perfect, and perpetual obedience, of which the tree of life was a pledge; and forbidding to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, upon the pain of death.
1. Gen. 2:8, 15-16
2. Gen. 1:28
3. Gen. 2:18
4. Gen. 1:26-29; 3:8
5. Gen. 2:3
6. Gal. 3:12; Rom. 10:5
7. Gen. 2:9
8. Gen. 2:17
Q30: Doth God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin and misery?
A30: God doth not leave all men to perish in the estate of sin and misery, into which they fell by the breach of the first covenant, commonly called the Covenant of Works; but of his mere love and mercy delivereth his elect out of it, and bringeth them into an estate of salvation by the second covenant, commonly called the Covenant of Grace.
1. I Thess. 5:9
2. Gal. 3:10, 12
3. Titus 3:4-7; Gal. 3:21; Rom. 3:20-22
Q31: With whom was the covenant of grace made?
A31: The covenant of grace was made with Christ as the second Adam, and in him with all the elect as his seed.
1. Gal. 3:16; Rom. 5:15-21; Isa. 53:10-11
Q32: How is the grace of God manifested in the second covenant?
A32: The grace of God is manifested in the second covenant, in that he freely provideth and offereth to sinners a Mediator, and life and salvation by him; and requiring faith as the condition to interest them in him, promiseth and giveth his Holy Spirit  to all his elect, to work in them that faith, with all other saving graces; and to enable them unto all holy obedience, as the evidence of the truth of their faith  and thankfulness to God, and as the way which he hath appointed them to salvation.
1. Gen. 3:15; Isa. 42:6; John 6:27
2. I John 5:11-12
3. John 1:12; 3:16
4. Prov. 1:23
5. II Cor. 4:13
6. Gal. 5:22-23
7. Ezek. 36:27
8. James 2:18, 22
9. II Cor. 5:14-15
10. Eph. 2:18
Q33: Was the covenant of grace always administered after one and the same manner?
A33: The covenant of grace was not always administered after the same manner, but the administrations of it under the Old Testament were different from those under the New.
1. II Cor. 3:6-9
Q34: How was the covenant of grace administered under the Old Testament?
A34: The covenant of grace was administered under the Old Testament, by promises, prophecies,  sacrifices, circumcision, the passover, and other types and ordinances, which did all foresignify Christ then to come, and were for that time sufficient to build up the elect in faith in the promised Messiah, by whom they then had full remission of sin, and eternal salvation.
1. Rom. 15:8
2. Acts 3:20, 24
3. Heb. 10:1
4. Rom. 4:11
5. I Cor. 5:7
6. Heb. ch. 8-10; 11:13
7. Gal. 3:7-9, 14
Q35: How is the covenant of grace administered under the New Testament?
A35: Under the New Testament, when Christ the substance was exhibited, the same covenant of grace was and still is to be administered in the preaching of the word, and the administration of the sacraments of Baptism  and the Lord’s Supper; in which grace and salvation are held forth in more fulness, evidence, and efficacy, to all nations.
1. Mark 16:15
2. Matt. 28:19-20
3. I Cor. 11:23-25
4. II Cor. 3:6-9; Heb. 8:6, 10-11; Matt. 28:19
The Second London Baptist Confession of Faith
CHAP. VII. Of Gods Covenant.
1. The distance between God and the Creature is so great, that although reasonable Creatures do owe obedience unto him as their Creator, yet they could never have attained the reward of Life, but by some (a) voluntary condescension on Gods part, which he hath been pleased to express, by way of Covenant.
a Luk. 17.10. Job 35.7.8.
2. Moreover Man having brought himself (b) under the curse of the Law by his fall, it pleased the Lord to make a Covenant of Grace wherein he freely offereth unto Sinners, (c) Life and Salvation by Jesus Christ, requiring of them Faith in him, that they may be saved; and (d) promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal Life, his holy Spirit, to make them willing, and able to believe.
b Gen. 2.17. Gal. 3.10. Rom. 3.20,21.
c Rom. 8.3. Mark 16.15.16. Joh. 3.16.
d Ezek. 36.26,27. Joh. 6.44 45. Ps. 110.3.
3. This Covenant is revealed in the Gospel; first of all to Adam in the promise of Salvation by the (e) seed of the woman, and afterwards by farther steps, untill the full (f) discovery thereof was compleated in the new Testament; and it is founded in that (*) Eternal Covenant transaction, that was between the Father and the Son, about the Redemption of the Elect; and it is alone by the Grace of this Covenant, that all of the posterity of fallen Adam, that ever were (g) saved, did obtain life and a blessed immortality; Man being now utterly uncapable of acceptance with God upon those terms, on which Adam stood in his state of innocency.
e Gen. 3.15.
f Heb. 1.1.
* 2 Tim. 1.9. Tit. 1.2.
g Heb, 11.6.13. Rom. 4.1,2, & c. Act. 4.12. Joh. 8.56.
Since we all agree on Covenant Theology, why do we differ on baptism?
Before we look at baptism in the reformed documents, it is necessary to discuss the Historia Salutis.
OUR AGREEMENT IN HISTORIA SALUTIS
The Historia Salutis is not spelled out in the reformed documents but it is in agreement with them. THe Hisotira Salutis is also referred to as the History of Redemption, Redemptive History, or Biblical Theology. It can be found in John Owen, Jonathan Edwards, Geerhardus Vos, and lately in Graeme Goldsworth, Greg Beale, and others.
Basically, Genesis 1-2 is our Prototype. This economy (i’m using “economy” as a synonym for “administration” and “dispensation”) in which everything is described as “good” is the way God created and therefore intended the world to be. Genesis 3 and following is a land of Types, Shadows, and Promises. Jesus is the Anti-type that fulfills these Types and promises. He is the reality of the shadows. One day the heavens, seas, and the earth will be no more. Instead a new heavens and earth will descend, the new Jerusalem. It will be all the prototypical Eden was meant to be but more glorious. This end-times we doctrine we call “eschatology”. When the Messiah came He inaugurated the eschaton, “..the Kingdom of God is here”. One day this inaugurated eschaton will be consummated. As for now, we live in the “already-not yet”.
That’s a real simple overview, again for details read any of the authors listed above.
OUR DISAGREEMENT IN BAPTISM
And now the reformed documents on baptism (emphases mine)
The Belgic Confession
Article 34, Holy Baptism
For that reason we detest the error of the Anabaptists who are not content with a single baptism once received and also condemn the baptism of the children of believers. We believe our children ought to be baptized and sealed with the sign of the covenant, as little children were circumcised in Israel on the basis of the same promises made to our children. (Gen 17:11-12)
74. Q. Should infants, too, be baptized?
A. Yes. Infants as well as adults belong to God’s covenant and congregation. Through Christ’s blood the redemption from sin and the Holy Spirit, who works faith, are promised to them no less than to adults. Therefore, by baptism, as sign of the covenant, they must be grafted into the Christian church and distinguished from the children of unbelievers. This was done in the old covenant by circumcision, in place of which baptism was instituted in the new covenant.
 Gen. 17:7; Matt. 19:14.
 Ps. 22:11; Is. 44:1-3; Acts 2:38, 39; 16:31.
 Acts 10:47; I Cor. 7:14.
 Gen. 17:9-14.
 Col. 2: 11-13.
Westminster Confession of Faith
Chapter 28. Of Baptism.
4. Not only those that do actually profess faith in and obedience unto Christ,a but also the infants of one or both believing parents are to be baptized.b
a. Mark 16:15-16; Acts 8:37-38.
b. Gen 17:7, 9 with Gal 3:9, 14 and Col 2:11-12 and Acts 2:38-39 and Rom 4:11-12; Mat 28:19; Mark 10:13-16; Luke 18:15; 1 Cor 7:14.
Westminster Larger Catechism
Q. 95. To whom is Baptism to be administered?
A. Baptism is not to be administered to any that are out of the visible church, till they profess their faith in Christ, and obedience to him [a]; but the infants of such as are members of the visible church are to be baptized [b].
[a]. Acts. 2:41; 8:12, 36, 38; 18:8
[b]. Gen. 17:7, 9-11; Acts 2:38-39; 16:32-33; Col. 2:11-12
Westminster Larger Catechism
Q166: Unto whom is Baptism to be administered?
A166: Baptism is not to be administered to any that are out of the visible church, and so strangers from the covenant of promise, till they profess their faith in Christ, and obedience to him, but infants descending from parents, either both, or but one of them, professing faith in Christ, and obedience to him, are in that respect within the covenant, and to be baptized.
1. Acts 2:38; 8:36-37
2. Gen. 17:7, 9; Gal. 3:9, 14; Col. 2:11-12; Acts 2:38-39; Rom. 4:11-12; 11:16; I Cor. 7:14; Matt 28:19; Luke 18:15-16
Again, to sum up, we all agree on God’s decree in eternity to past to elect some to salvation. We agree that God made a Covenant of Works with Adam in the Garden of Eden (the Prototype). We agree that after the Fall, God administered with Adam and Eve the Covenant of Grace. From this period on to Christ’s first coming we are in the time of Types, Promises, and Shadows. Christ comes and by His Death ratifies the New Covenant, Inaugurating the Eschaton.
Now, notice who and where the Paedobaptist appeals to when it comes to baptism. They appeal to Abraham. Abraham is in the economy of Types and Shadows. Is this right? In the Inaugurated Eschaton, is it right to appeal to the Abrahamic Economy? Are Abraham and the Abrahamic promises our Prototype for the Eschaton? Or are they Types dependent on some other Prototype?.
What am I getting at? We all recognise that the New Covenant is a fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant, but we do not appeal to it as a Prototype for the Eschaton. We all recognise the New Covenant is a fulfillment of the Mosaic Covenant, but we do not appeal to it as a Prototype for the Eschaton. We all recognise the New Covenant is a fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant. Here is where Paedobaptists and Credobaptists differ. The Paedobaptist appeals to the Abrahamic Covenant as if it were a Prototype by carrying it into the Inaugurated Eschaton. The Credobaptist sees Abraham as another type based on a Prototype.
For the Credobaptist Adam and Eve in Eden are the Prototype on which the Eschaton is based.
Now, who is in the Eschaton, the Eden-New Jerusalem? Is it a mixture of Saints and Sinners, or is it Saints alone? If the Paedobaptist is correct, and it is proper to appeal to the Abraham Economy, then the New Jerusalem, like Canaan, will be a mixture of Saints and Sinners. If the Credobaptist is correct, and Adam and Eve are the Prototype, then the New Jerusalem will be, like Eden, filled with Saints alone. As stated earlier, we live in the Inauguration, not Consummation of the Eschaton, the “already-not yet”, so we, as Baptists, can not know men’s hearts. We can only take their profession and examine their lives.
Why does the Paedobaptist appeal to Abraham instead of Adam? Do they not believe there was an “Israel” before Israel Why Abraham? I do not know, I can only guess. I believe it is due to tradition and sentimentality.
What are the results of holding onto this tradition? First, they must compromise the Regulative Principle to include “good and necessary inference”. Second, there is inconsistency, and tension in their doctrine of the Sacraments. This tension has surfaced in the Halfway Covenant Controversy and recently in the Federal Vision.
This is the heart, the root of our differences. Anything else, everything else is an external argument that shouldn’t be crossed until this can be proved.
If the Paedobaptist can prove that Abraham is not a type but the prototype, or that there are multiple prototypes and that Abraham in Canaan is the prototype for the Inaugurated Eschaton, then I will, I must reconsider my position.
We have two choices, a consistent, Christolgocal, covenantal position within the Regulative Principle, or one that is inconsistent in application, relies upon tradition and is outside of the Regulative Principle.
(I came to this position sometime in 2010, wrote it out briefly on the PuritanBoard. Since then It has been confirmed by Dr. Greg Welty’s “From Circumcision to Baptism: A Covenantal Rejoinder to Calvin and Dr. William Einwechter’s “A Covenantal Defense of Believer’s Baptism”)