Does Baptism Accomplish Anything? Talks at the Trinity Men’s Theology Forum

I was able to present a case for Baptisms in the Bible, including baptismal efficacy and covenantal infant baptism at Trinity Reformed Church’s Men’s Theology Forum (4/23/2021). This presentation involved talk with slides and the a solid hour of question and answers. The talk represented every NT verse on baptism and many OT references to the developing baptismal themes. Most of those who attended were Baptists and so many related topics were covered in the discussion. The audio and the slides (in the PDF Outline) are available (01 Baptisms in the Bible Presentation) and (02 Baptisms in the Bible Discussion).

The First Century Family – What Can We Validly Infer from Household Baptisms – The New Oikos Formula

As we consider biblical revelation as it relates to marriage and family, all of the data matters. From Acts and the Epistles there are only nine individuals (explicitly named or described) who were baptized. It will be argued that six of these baptisms are “household baptisms.” This pattern has led to a century old discussion on the “oikos formula” and what it means or does not mean. That debate between the likes of Joachim Jeremias and Kurt Aland  (circa 1960) set the stage for the current discussion about family solidarity and the ordinances of baptism and communion in the NT. What may we validly infer from this set of facts? I will work through the pattern and provide conclusions consistent with the implications.

Read the paper and listen to the Evangelical Theological Society’s Eastern Region presentation here.

The New Covenant Prophecy of Jeremiah 31:31-34 in Context

Many objectors to Covenantal Infant Baptism seek to use the new covenant prophecy of Jeremiah 31:31-34 to argue that “all the members of the new covenant are regenerate” (e.g., James White v Gregg Strawbridge debate on infant baptism, 2015 also available on YouTube).

In the White v Strawbridge debate, I made the point that nothing about baptism actually follows from the assertion that “every member of the new covenant is regenerate [in the Calvinistic sense.” Baptists nor paedobaptists can baptize only regenerate people. As Warfield teaches all baptism is based on a judgment of charity whether of the very young or the mature.

At any rate, one must first do exegesis before alleged theological conclusions can be used as a macro-theological point (i.e., “all members of the new covenant are regenerate”). I am providing my exegesis. The following link includes a general sermon and in the PDF Outline an exegetical paper with about 50 footnotes and dozens of scholarly sources. The New Covenant In Context.