The “drunken uncle” didn’t seem to think it struck at those “vitals”

It is objected that paedobaptists are strangely inconsistent in dispensing baptism to infants and yet refusing to admit them to the Lord’s Table …

At the outset it should be admitted that if paedobaptists are inconsistent in this discrimination, then the relinquishment of infant baptism is not the only way of resolving the inconsistency. It could be resolved by going in the other direction, namely, that of admitting infants to the Lord’s Supper.

And when all factors entering into this dispute are taken into account, particularly the principle involved in infant baptism, then far less would be at stake in admitting infants to the Lord’s Supper than would be at stake in abandoning infant baptism.

This will serve to point up the significance of infant baptism in the divine economy of grace [John Murray, Christian Baptism (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1980). pp. 73-74].

via Theologia » John Calvin & Paedocommunion.

4 thoughts on “The “drunken uncle” didn’t seem to think it struck at those “vitals”

  1. Josh L

    Paedocommunion has been a hot topic in my PCA church recently. It’s my contention that most of the arguments advanced for the practice and preservation of credo-communion entail a denial of covenant theology.

    Based on my experience, credo-communionists are forced to deny (and I have heard/read many who do deny) the following in order to avoid accepting paedocommunion:

    -That Matt 18-19, John 6 and 1 Cor 10 are relevant or applicable to the sacraments
    -That infants can possess faith (so Ps 22, 71, 139, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, etc are denied to be normative or even germane)
    -That the sacraments are means of grace
    -That there is any special grace at the Lord’s Table
    -That the Lord’s Table is for everyone in the body of Christ
    -That covenant children partook of the Passover
    -That baptism in any meaningful sense initiates one into the body of Christ, the church
    -That covenant children are as much proper members of the church as adult professors

    I could go on. Is credo-communion a practice so vital that we would deny all these things to preserve it? How can it be, when Calvin spent less than a page criticizing (non-evangelical) paedocommunion in the Institutes? And up until the last few decades, as Rayburn has documented, reformed theologians have devoted little effort or space to serious critiques of paedocommunion.

    Far from being a “threat” to the “vitals” of reformed doctrine, paedocommunion is actually required by a consistent covenant theology–even the covenant theology of Calvin’s Institutes. What paedocommunion does threaten is phony-reformed systems of doctrine which are rationalistic, baptistic, etc.

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  2. Pingback: Mark Horne » Blog Archive » Some points on paedocommunion in the PCA

  3. Pingback: Mark Horne » Blog Archive » Better to be a credobaptist than a paedocommunionist

  4. Shawn Honey

    I’m pretty sure even the Westminster Standards cite 1 Co. 10 and maybe even John 6 in their explanation of sacraments, which makes the credocommunionist denial of the relevance of these passages for sacramental theology suspect. The arguments for credocommunionist are pathetic. What’s even more pathetic, though, is that most credocommunionists assume that the classic Reformed credocommunionist position shares their pietistic presumptions. Whereas classic Reformed types reserved communion for professors as, seemingly, an issue of spiritual maturity, the most vocal credocommunionist advocates today embrace their position because they deny that children are in any way believers.

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