A Paedobaptist Reasons from Paul by Kevin DeYoung

I have many paedobaptist friends and colleagues.  At first, I didn’t really understand their reasons for infant baptism, except the little I had picked up in Bible college and seminary.  But over the years, I’ve been trying to learn as much as I can from my paedobaptist brothers and sisters in Christ.

With that in mind, I’ve found the following summary by Kevin DeYoung to be a good summary of the paedobaptist position:

Romans 4.11 – “He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised.”

If circumcision was for Abraham a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith, then we cannot say the cutting away of the flesh was simply an ethnic identity marker or a sign of mere physical import. Circumcision was a seal of the deepest spiritual realities, a visible sign of the forgiveness of sins and justification by faith. Just like baptism would be centuries later.

And if this spiritual sign—a seal of the righteousness that comes by faith—was administered to Abraham and his infant sons, then we cannot say that the thing signified must always be present before the sign is administered. Isaac was circumcised, and so was Ishmael—both being given the seal of justification by faith before the exercise of faith. Just like infant baptism.

So whether infant baptism makes sense to you or not—and I deeply respect my non-paedo friends in my church and in the broader church—shouldn’t we at least agree that the basic spiritual import of circumcision and baptism is the same and that there is biblical precedence for administering a spiritual sign without the immediate presence of the thing signified?

Makes sense to me.  (emphasis mine, source)

Of course there is so much more to this matter.  But I’ve found this to be a useful summary, despite my historic Baptist leanings on the matter.

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3 Responses to A Paedobaptist Reasons from Paul by Kevin DeYoung

  1. Trey Jasso says:

    I find that think it’s an excellent point that both Ishmael and Isaac would both receive the sign of the covenant. Jacob, Esau, Saul, and Judas were all circumcised.

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