The Pipers Respond to Dever in the Baptism Debate

The Pipers Respond to Dever in the Baptism Debate August 17, 2007

Desiring God has published the following response to Dever’s contribution to the Baptism debate John Piper says-

On almost every disagreement that Christians have about what should be believed and what should be done, someone is living in “unrepentant sin”—that is, they are not doing what they ought to do and they are not confessing it as sin…. The question is: what do we do with all these Christians who can’t agree on what ought to be done and therefore do the wrong things and don’t confess it as sin? I argue that every Christian has always had a category of behaviors and a category of attitudes about behaviors that they believe are not what God wants us to do, but do not consign a person who does not believe the same to the category of church discipline. We agree to disagree in the faith, because we agree that the other person is earnestly seeking for the light of God and that the nature of the sin is not such that it calls their faith into question or threatens their soul or undermines the gospel. Admittedly this is muddy, but it seems inevitable (Phil. 3:15).”

Abraham Piper adds

Jesus looks at mankind and sees two groups: the sheep and the goats; the saved and the damned; the repentant and the unrepentant (Matthew 25:31-46). Unless we are willing to say that paedobaptists are probably going to hell, then they are—according to Christ—already members in our fellowship, his church. What’s left for us is to acknowledge this. And then to trust Jesus to show himself to his one bride.

It is worth bearing in mind that this is whole debate so far has been one between people who believe in believers baptism. Justin Taylor has written a summary of the arguments commonly used by paedobaptists. I would love to see what they think of all this themselves. Where is David Wayne or Lig Duncan when you need them?

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