“At the outset I will admit that our practice of infant baptism is a theologically derived doctrine that is justified as a deduction that is a ‘good and necessary consequence’ from Scripture. The Westminster Confession of Faith, chapter 1, paragraph 6 says:
The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture:
This admission, in and of itself, will be enough for many to damn the doctrine. Since I admit that there is no explicit passage of Scripture that enjoins our practice of infant baptism, that will settle the case for many. Adrian quoted a guy who practices infant baptism yet admits that it can not be proven from the New Testament. This gentleman quotes some famous people who have practiced infant baptism and Adrian responds: “As much as I love the men of God cited, if its not in the bible its not for me. ” If that’s the case I’m wasting my breath and we presbyterians have, for hundreds of years, engaged in a practice which is unnecessary at best and harmful at worst. “
He then goes on to state that biblical doctrines must be deduced from the whole of scripture and even makes an interesting point about how a doctrinal statement might initially seem to even contradict an individual verse. I would concur up to a point, but would argue that our doctrinal statements should not bend and force the bible to fit into the mould we want it to. So to use his example, if our doctrine of justification by faith alone is not itself in some way modified or influenced by what James is saying when he says we are NOT saved by faith alone but by works then there is something wrong with our doctrine rather than the bible verse we are examining.
I look forward to the rest of this debate with great interest, even though I very much doubt that I will be convinced of a different position to that which I currently hold even by such a great friend and theological thinker as my blogging partner. I am sure that our debate will be at all times respectful of each others position, and I look forward possibly for the first time in my life to an honest open interaction with someone who thinks differently than I do on this subject. One of the things I love about the internet is this very interaction that is made possible.