Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Monday, September 23, 2013

Mr. Andy Underhile: "Infant Baptism, Objections Answered, #7

Mr. Andy Underhile at:

Infant Baptism, Objections Answered, 7
7. Since we assert that baptism is a symbol of regeneration, our opponents object that sense many who are baptized never partake of the grace and regeneration, our system corrupts the church by filling it with unconverted people.
There is much to take issue with in this objection. Even if it could be proven, and even if it were conceded that a majority of those who are baptized never partake of the grace of regeneration that is signified by baptism, this says nothing about the significance or efficacy of the sacrament.

 Let me ask a question: How many people read the Bible without profit? How many people attend church without profit? How many people read Christian books without profit? How many people listen to Christian radio, attend Christian conferences, attend regular Bible studies, or partake in any other number of church-based activities without benefiting from them? By the above logic urged against infant baptism we would be forced to discard all of these things. Should we jettison reading of the Bible because some people don't profit from reading it? Again, the same objection could be made about circumcision. Circumcision, as well as baptism, was a symbol of regeneration and spiritual cleansing. But how many received it without receiving the spiritual benefit? In fact the same objection can be raised against everything God has instituted. Surely if God has instituted anything, it is richly significant and spiritually meaningful simply by virtue of the fact it was God who instituted it. But because the influence of said institutions is moral, the influence may be defeated by unbelief. We are not Roman Catholics who hold the ex opere operato view of the sacraments. The sacraments do not exert physical power, or save by inherent energy, and for that reason and that reason alone, it is possible for someone to receive their administration without receiving the benefit it was intended to convey. They are signs and seals of God's promise.

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