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Pilgrim #42444 Wed May 13, 2009 3:20 PM
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The visible church, also catholic or worldwide under the good news of Christ (not confined to the one nation, Israel, as under the Old Testament), consists of every person in the world professing faith in Jesus Christ and their children (WCF 25.2).

We are agreed that their "membership" (meaning the fact that they are considered part of the visible church) does not assume either reprobation or regeneration.

But the covenant children of believers are, according to the WCF, members of the visible church.


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Robin,

Could you give me Chapter/article in the WCF where it says that baptized infants are "considered part of the visible church"? I'm not disputing at this point that it does, I'm simply asking where it does so I can read it.

It is common in paedobaptist churches to refer to covenant children as "members" of the visible church to be sure. However, I have difficulty with the wording due to its inherent misunderstanding. I have preferred to refer to covenant children as being "externally in the covenant of grace", covenant of grace used in a more general way rather than in its salvific meaning. Of course, admittedly that too raises problems with misunderstanding as well. rolleyes2 I am always wrestling with the errors I run into on both sides; 1) covenant children are to be considered "Christians" or even "elect", and 2) covenant children have no relationship to the Church whatsoever, which is typical of non-paedobaptists. As you might have guessed, without much trouble is that I stand in the middle of the two. giggle

Never mind.... found the reference in Chapter XXV, article II:

Quote
II. The visible church, which is also catholic or universal under the gospel (not confined to one nation, as before under the law), consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion; and of their children: and is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, the house and family of God, out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation.
However, I find most of the Scriptural references used to support the view that children of believers are members of the invisible church to be unsupportive.
In His grace,

Last edited by Pilgrim; Wed May 13, 2009 3:40 PM. Reason: Added the WCF reference

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Pilgrim #42446 Thu May 14, 2009 5:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Pilgrim
As to Joel Beeke personally, or the Heritage Reformed Church denomination in regard to what they believe or practice on this subject I am not knowledgeable.


November 1990
http://sb.rfpa.org/index.cfm?mode=w...p;page=1&chapter=0&text_search=0

William #42447 Thu May 14, 2009 5:27 PM
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William,

Thanks for the link. It would appear that the position stated in the response by Joel Beeke and his brother is my own position. And that is all well and good.

HOWEVER... the original contention which I have brought up remains unanswered. Even more so an answer is necessary to it which is: The "Form for the Baptism of Infants" indisputably teaches "presumptive regeneration". If you or anyone else can show that it doesn't by giving an explanation to the several places where the wording clearly establishes that baptized covenant children are "in Christ", their "sins are forgiven in Christ", etc., etc., then this would resolve things. Until that time at best ALL who use that Form either embrace presumptive regeneration of baptized covenant children or they are guilty of contradiction should they deny they embrace presumptive generation. If the latter and if they cannot show that the Form does not teach presumptive regeneration, they they should cease from using that Form. grin

In His grace,


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Pilgrim #42449 Thu May 14, 2009 6:09 PM
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Rev. G. H. Kersten answers"
this question in his TREATISE OF THE COMPENDIUM as follows:

Yes, only the elect. For them Christ suffered, and for them He is glorified. They are
set with Him in heaven; in Him they are partakers of salvation, and they shall be
washed in Christ's blood. It is therefore by means of "this holy sacrament that the
Holy Spirit assures the elect that He will dwell in them and sanctify them to be
members of Christ, applying unto them that which they have in Christ, namely, the
washing away of their sins and the daily renewing of their lives, till they shall finally
be presented without spot among the assembly of the elect in life eternal."
How clearly and incontrovertibly does the Form for the Administration of Baptism
teach in these words that the sealing in baptism concerns the elect, and not all who are
baptized. The elect, and not all of mankind, are included in the Covenant of Grace in
Christ, their Head, and in Him are partakers of the benefits of the covenant, which are
applied unto them in the time of God's good pleasure. This is assured unto them in
baptism. And, since God has His elect among children, as well as among adults, Holy
Baptism must be administered also unto them.



Originally Posted by Pilgrim
William,

Thanks for the link. It would appear that the position stated in the response by Joel Beeke and his brother is my own position. And that is all well and good.

HOWEVER... the original contention which I have brought up remains unanswered. Even more so an answer is necessary to it which is: The "Form for the Baptism of Infants" indisputably teaches "presumptive regeneration". If you or anyone else can show that it doesn't by giving an explanation to the several places where the wording clearly establishes that baptized covenant children are "in Christ", their "sins are forgiven in Christ", etc., etc., then this would resolve things. Until that time at best ALL who use that Form either embrace presumptive regeneration of baptized covenant children or they are guilty of contradiction should they deny they embrace presumptive generation. If the latter and if they cannot show that the Form does not teach presumptive regeneration, they they should cease from using that Form. grin

In His grace,



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But there is also an external relation of the Covenant of Grace.doc (30 KB, 486 downloads)
But there is also an external relation of the Covenant of Grace.doc
Last edited by William; Thu May 14, 2009 7:02 PM. Reason: Add File



William #42450 Thu May 14, 2009 7:29 PM
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Originally Posted by William
Rev. G. H. Kersten answers"
this question in his TREATISE OF THE COMPENDIUM as follows:
nope Kersten does NOT answer the questionS I've asked. All he states is that the ELECT are joined with Christ, etc. This is not what the Form for the Baptism of Infants states.

The contention stands. grin

In His grace,


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Pilgrim #42452 Sat May 16, 2009 12:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Pilgrim
nope Kersten does NOT answer the questionS I've asked. All he states is that the ELECT are joined with Christ, etc. This is not what the Form for the Baptism of Infants states.


But the FORM THAT SCRIPTURES DICTATES concerning baptism is that anyone baptized is supposed to be joined with Christ!

Romans 6:3-4
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

Galatians 3:27
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Colossians 2:12
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.

1 Peter 3:21
Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.

Every Scripture that relates to Baptism refers to sotereological terms. Only those who PROFESSES FAITH IN CHRIST ALONE and displays evidence of that confession should be the only ones allowed to be baptized. An infant can't do that!

It might be best to stick to Scriptures...





Last edited by heidi; Sat May 16, 2009 12:44 AM.
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Greetings Heidi, and welcome to the Highway discussion board. Have you been to the Highway main page here http://the-highway.com/ ? This thread is not a discussion about paedobaptism vs. (presumed) believers baptism however there are many here who believe what you believe about baptism. Perhaps you would like to start a new thread. I’m sure Pilgrim could supply you with both views decently and in order.

William,



This is a discussion that went off topic when a comment was made that those of the Dutch Reformed tradition TYPICALLY adhere to a “presumptive regeneration” OF ALL infants who are baptized. This statement was and is my opinion inaccurate and it was then agreed that it may be inaccurate to various degrees. Nevertheless I have since shown that there at least three denominations of over 110,000 people maybe more that have membership in churches that OFFICALLY oppose the doctrine “presumptive regeneration” OF ALL infants who are baptized. Although I do not know WHO IN PRACTICE are consistent with it, it is not the OFFICIAL doctrine of their church and is still in accordance with the “FORM’.

The official form, the “Form for the Administration of Baptism” teaches that baptism is a sign, and seal ONLY for the elect whom God saves thru the finished work of Jesus Christ. It (the Form) teaches a PROMISED not a “presumed” regeneration. This is the Reformed position according to the Reformed confessions and the Bible.


William #42454 Sat May 16, 2009 7:10 PM
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Wow I get busy and I find that the Lutheran thread has turned into a Dutch-Reformed thread.

Now personally I'd like to get back to the difference between Lutheran and Reformed but if you want to stick to Dutch-Reformed fine. I'm cool. bigglasses


Peter

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself. Augustine of Hippo
heidi #42457 Tue May 19, 2009 12:15 PM
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Heidi,

I do appreciate your participation but as William has stated, this is too far [Linked Image].

My deviation and allowance to continue should not be taken as what is allowed. I exercised Administrative privileges in doing so. evilgrin

So, if you would REALLY like to get into a debate on the issue of baptism; its recipients and mode, then do start a new thread. I'm not sure how much response you would get due to the past discussions/debates which have gone on here in the past.

PS I seriously doubt you would want to base your alleged Scriptural "form" on "anyone baptized is supposed to be joined with Christ!". rolleyes2 I hope you realize the implications of that statement. Not many Reformed Baptists I know would go there. wink

In His grace,


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William #42458 Tue May 19, 2009 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by William
Although I do not know WHO IN PRACTICE are consistent with it, it is not the OFFICIAL doctrine of their church and is still in accordance with the “FORM’.
William,

You have yet to even begin to show how the "Form for the Baptism of Infants" is in accordance with the renunciation of "presumptive regeneration". None of my questions about the actual wording used in the Form have been addressed. Simply saying it is consistent with the alleged "official" doctrine of the two denominations mentioned doesn't make it so. wink

Originally Posted by William
The official form, the “Form for the Administration of Baptism” teaches that baptism is a sign, and seal ONLY for the elect whom God saves thru the finished work of Jesus Christ. It (the Form) teaches a PROMISED not a “presumed” regeneration. This is the Reformed position according to the Reformed confessions and the Bible.
The form which I have taken issue with is NOT the "Form for the Administration of Baptism", but rather the "Form for the Baptism of Infants"... apples vs oranges.

And from your statement above, I would like to know who the "Promise" belongs to, e.g., only the elect, or all who are baptized?

In His grace,


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Pilgrim #42460 Tue May 19, 2009 6:26 PM
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Originally Posted By: Pilgrim

William,

You have yet to even begin to show how the "Form for the Baptism of Infants" is in accordance with the renunciation of "presumptive regeneration".

“The Form for the Administration of Baptism 1. To the Infants of Believers” refuses to own and acknowledge “presumptive regeneration” based on the teaching of the Covenant of Grace that is governed by election and clearly teaches that there are two seeds. Therefore none of your questions about the actual wording used in the “Form” have to disclaim or reject presumptive regeneration. It’s assumed that all children of believers are not The Lord’s children.

_____________________________________________________________
IT's A SIGN AND SEAL FOR ONLY THESE

WCF Of Effectual Calling X

All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, and those only, he is pleased, in his appointed and accepted time, effectually to call, by his Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation, by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God, taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them a heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and, by his almighty power, determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ: yet so, as they come most freely, being made willing by his grace.

Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ, through the Spirit, who worketh when, and where, and how he pleaseth: so also are all other elect persons who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.

_______________________________________________________________


The "Reformed Faith” teaches baptism and circumcision are/were both sacraments and are identical, they = regeneration, sanctification, and repentance.


_______________________________________________________________


Again the quote below by Rev. Kersten answers you question.
Quote
How clearly and incontrovertibly does the Form for the Administration of Baptism teach in these words that the sealing in baptism concerns the elect, and not all who are baptized. The elect, and not all of mankind, are included in the Covenant of Grace in Christ, their Head, and in Him are partakers of the benefits of the covenant, which are applied unto them in the time of God's good pleasure. This is assured unto them in baptism. And, since God has His elect among children, as well as among adults, Holy Baptism must be administered also unto them. Rev. G. H. Kersten





William #42461 Tue May 19, 2009 6:58 PM
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William,

It is quite sad to see that you are not willing to deal with the wording of "The Form for the Baptism of Infants". You have tip-toed all around the questions offering irrelevant responses, quotes that have no bearing upon the Form itself but with other matters of which I have no dispute.

There is an OBVIOUS contradiction between the "Form for the Administration of Baptism", your denomination's rejection of "presumptive regeneration" and the "Form for the Baptism of Infants". Most who read that form conclude it teaches "presumptive regeneration" due to the specific words and phrases used, which have been and always will be questioned, although here they have gone unanswered.

Now, as to your question:

Quote
Who else besides you and those antagonistic against paedobaptists believe that the “Form” teaches Presumptive Regeneration?
There are a great number of paedobaptists who take offense at the wording used in the "Form for the Baptism of Infants". And, FYI, there are two Dutch pastors locally who just happen to be close friends of mine who are even more adamantly opposed to that Form than I am but for the exact same reason; it teaches "presumptive regeneration". grin

You obviously have no desire to deal with the FORM so I'll bow out of this discussion and let the "Form for the Baptism of Infants" and my questions speak for themselves.

In His grace,


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Originally Posted by Pilgrim
There are a great number of paedobaptists who take offense at the wording used in the "Form for the Baptism of Infants". And, FYI, there are two Dutch pastors locally who just happen to be close friends of mine who are even more adamantly opposed to that Form than I am but for the exact same reason; it teaches "presumptive regeneration". grin

claphands

Would you happen to know what your TWO comfort friends accually believe about the Covenant of Grace?



William rofl




William #42466 Wed May 20, 2009 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by William
Would you happen to know what your TWO comfort friends accually believe about the Covenant of Grace?
Matter of fact I would. grin They are in accord with such men as:

- The Covenant of Grace, by John Murray

- Jonathan Edwards on the Covenant of Grace, by Carl Bogue

- Outline of the Covenant of Grace and Testimony to Sublapsarianism, by James Henley Thornwell

Thus, they and I are also in complete agreement with the "Westminster Confession of Faith" on this subject. grin

If you so desire to discuss the subject of "The Covenant of Grace", please start a new thread. [Linked Image]

In His grace,


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