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On Infant Baptism and such…pt II

May 19, 2009

Summarizing the initial post; Stating the doctrine of Baptism is an exercise in Systematic Theology. This is why hand selecting texts or subtopics to argue about are not very helpful. As I said before, choosing household baptisms, circumcision parallels and such seem more like pitting circumstantial evidence as seen from two different angles against itself. The truth is there, but the angle it is approached from is different. The different angles are the differences in our understanding of the New Covenant, its nature, and its continuity/discontinuity with God’s promise to mankind.

An integral part of interpretation is asking ourselves how would those that first heard or read God’s word have understood it to mean, including the prophets/authors themselves. How did the original audience take it to mean? In the case of the New Covenant, we want to think how Jeremiah and the Israelites would have taken those words based on prior covenant experiences and cultural norms.

If we cut to the chase, we need to inquire, Did Jeremiah entertain that his children would/could have been excluded from this New Covenant? To a broader extent, would that thought have ever even entered the minds of Israel? Is exclusion of covenant members part of what is “new” in this new covenant?

Some areas to ponder on till the next post..

How ingrained was the inclusion of children in Israel’s covenantal history from Abraham to Christ?

What is new about the New Covenant?

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