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Offline Lee Freeman

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 02:46:51 »
This thread was inspired by a comment in another thread that the baptism question could be settled if everyone would simply follow the historic teaching of the Church regarding infant baptism. So I looked up some references in the Fathers to infant baptism.

Evidence which seems to be against it:

HERMAS (fl. 140/155)

Those who believed are such as these: They are like innocent infants, in whose heart no wickedness enters and who do not know what is evil but always remain in innocence. Such as these will undoubtedly live in the kingdom of God because in no way did they defile the commandments of God but innocently remained in the same frame of mind all the days of their life. As many of you then who will continue and be as infants, with no wickedness, will be more honored than all others, for all infants are honored before God and are in the first rank before him. Blessed are all of you, therefore, who remove evil from yourselves and put on guiltlessness. (Similitudes IX. xxix. 1-3)



BARNABAS (late first, early second centuries)

Since he renewed us in the forgiveness of sins, he made us into another image, so as to have the soul of children, as if he were indeed refashioning us. (6:11)


ARISTIDES (c. 140s)

And when a child has been born to one of them [Christians], they give thanks to God; and if it should die as an infant, they give thanks the more, because it has departed life sinless. (Apology 15:11)


ATHENAGORAS OF ATHENS (c. 177)

Although all human beings who die are resurrected, not all those resurrected are judged. If justice in the judgment were the only cause of the resurrection, it would follow, of course, that those who have not sinned nor done good, namely quite young children, would not be resurrected. (On the Resurrection 14)


IRENAEUS OF LYON (ca. 135-c. 202)

Who were those who were saved and received the inheritance? Those, obviously, who believed in God and kept their love for him, such as Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun, and innocent children, who have no sense of evil. Who are those now who are saved and receive eternal life? Is it not those who love God and believe his promises and \"in malice have become little children\"? (Against Heresies IV.xxviii.3)



Evidence which supports it:

IRENAEUS OF LYON (c. 135-c. 202)

For he came to save all by means of himself-all, I say, who by him are born again to God-infants, children, adoloescents, young men, and old men (Against Heresies II.xxii.4)



TERTULLIAN of CARTHAGE (c. 155-c. 250)

According to the circumstances and nature, and also age, of each person, the delay of baptism is more suitable, especially in the case of small children. What is the necessity, if there is no such necessity, for the sponsors as well to be brought into danger, since they may fail to keep their promises by reason of death or be deceived by an evil disposition which grows up in the child? The Lord indeed says, \"Do not forbid them to come unto me.\" Let them \"come\" then while they are growing up, while they are learning, while they are instructed why they are coming. Let them become Christians when they are able to know Christ. In what sense does the innocent period of life hasten to the remission of sins? Should we act more cautiously in worldly matters, so that divine things are given to those to whom earthly property is not given? Let them learn to ask for salvation so that you may be seen to have given \"to him who asks.\" (On Baptism 18) NOTE: Tertullian here is arguing against the practice of infant baptism.

HIPPOLYTUS OF ROME (d. 235)

And they shall baptise the little children first. And if they can answer for themselves, let them answer. But if they cannot, let their parents answer or someone from their family.  And next they shall baptise the grown men; and last the women. (Apostolic Tradition xxi.3-5)



ORIGEN OF ALEXANDRIA (b.185-fl. c. 200-254)

I take this occasion to discuss something which our brothers often inquire about. Infants are baptized for the remission of sins. Of what kinds? Or when did they sin? But since \"No one is exempt from stain,\" one removes stain by the mystery of baptism. For this reason infants also are baptized. For \"Unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.' (Homily on Luke XIV:5)


CYPRIAN OF CARTHAGE (fl. 248-258)

If, when they afterwards come to believe, forgiveness of sins is granted even to the worst transgressors and to those who have previously sinned much against God, and if no one is held back from baptism and grace; how much less ought an infant to be held back, who having been born recently has not sinned, except in that being born physically according to Adam, he has contracted the contagion of the ancient death by his first birth. He approaches that much more easily to the reception of the forgiveness of sins because the sins remitted to him are not his own, biut those of another. (Epistle 58 [64])



Early inscriptions:


Eusebius, an infant, going to the place of the saints, being without sin through his age, rests in peace.


Sweet Tyche lived one year, ten months, fifteen days, Received [grace] on the eighth day before the kalends. Gave up [her soul] on the same day.

Postumius Eutenion, a believer, who obtained holy grace the day before his birthday at a very late hour and died. He lived six years and was buried on the fith of Ides of July on the day of Jupiter on which he was born. His soul is with the saints in peace. Felicissimus, Eutheria, and Festa his grandmother to their worthy son Postumius. - Early 4th century.

Irene who lived with her parents ten months and six days recived [grace] seven days before the Ides of April and gave up [her soul] on the Ides of April.

To the sacred divine dead. Florentius made this monument to his worthy son Appronianus, who lived one year, nine months, and five days. Since he was dearly loved by his grandmother, and she saw that he was going to die, she asked from the church that he might depart from the world a believer. - 3rd century

Pastor, Titiana, Marciana, and Chreste made this for Marcianus, their worthy son in Christ, who lived twelve years, two months, and . . . days, who received [grace] on the twelfth day before the Kalends of October, Marianus and Paternus the second time being consuls, and gave up [his soul] on the eleventh day before the Kalends. Live among the saints in eternity. - AD 268

Innocent, the neophyte, lived twenty-three years.

To Paulinus, the neophyte, in peace, who lived eight years.

To Proiecto, neophyte infant, who lived two years seven months.

To the worthy Antonia Cyriaceti who lived nineteen years, two months, twenty-six days. Recieved the grace of God and died a virgin on the fourth day. Julius Benedictus her father set this up for his most sweet and incomparable daughter. Twelfth of Kalends of December. - AD 363



These quotations are taken from Dr. Everett Ferguson's Early Christians Speak, pp. 55-58.

Pax vobiscum.

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 02:46:51 »

Offline Lee Freeman

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #1 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 03:46:40 »
Ivor Davidson concludes that:

\"The reality is that neither an argument in favor of baptizing babies today nor an argument against the practice can be established on the grounds of the earliest customs of the churches. It is clear that in the late second and early third centuries infants were being baptized in at least a number of contexts and that a system of adults as sponsors was already in operation in these places. It is equally incontrovertible that this practice increased greatly over subsequent generations and received express theological justification from a number of Christian leaders.

At the same time, the practice of baptizing very small children or babies was undoubtedly opposed by some from the start, and the process of catechesis implies that regular baptismal instruction at least was aimed at those who were old enough to speak for themselves. There would always be many children of Christian parents who were not baptized in infancy, and even when individuals professed faith in their youth, it was by no means uncommon for them to defer their baptism until they were much older. (The Birth of the Church: From Jesus to Constantine AD 30-312, p. 279)



Everett Ferguson concludes:

The early Christian feeling about the innocence of infants finds clear expression in second century authors and in the writer who makes the first explicit reference to infant baptism in Christian history, Tertullian. Innocence here meant sinlessness, or at least guiltlessness. The author who is the clearest is the apologist Aristides; therefore his testimony has been much discussed. . . The phrase about \"passed through the world without sin\" suggests that the child entered the world without sin and departed in the same condition. There is no suggestion of baptism as the reason for this sinless condition. . . .

The first unambiguous reference is to be found in Tertullian, and he was opposed to the practice. Tertullian was not talking about a tendency or a hypothetical situation. The practice was present and had its defenders. On the other hand, Tertullian is such a traditionalist that it hardly seems likely that he would oppose a practice of long standing or general acceptance. He seems to be stating, as elsewhere in his treatise On Baptism, the common position of the church. He does not sound like an innovator fighting an established custom. North Africa continued to be the place where the pratice had its strongest support, and it may be that this was the region where it began. . . .

The writings of Origen provide the first claim that infant baptism was an apostolic custom delivered to the church. We do not know upon what basis this assertion is made, but it may be an inference from John 3:5. . .

Origen affords evidence that the practice preceded the theological justification. The sequence was infant baptisms then the doctrine of infant sinfulness, and not a doctrine of original sin leading to the practice of infant baptism. The reasons for baptizing a child were being discussed. The child did not have sins of his own. Origen's answer was that stain attaches to birth. This is not yet a doctrine of original sin (that is, the inheritance of the guilt for Adam's transgression), for Origen in the Homily on Luke XIV:3 contrasts sin and stain and says the latter attached to Jesus by the reason of his taking a human body (and so the necessity of purifcation in Luke 2:22).

The same relationship between infant baptism and infant sin appears in the writings of Cyprian. He is the first clear theological exponent of the baptism of new-born babes. His letter conveys the answer of the North African bishops to an inquiry whether infant baptism should be given on the eighth day. The answer allows for the immediate baptism after birth. The unanimous reply indicates a long-standing and generally accepted practice. Cyprian is consistent and speaks of infant communion too. Tertullian's opposition had been put down. Cyprian's argument is that if baptism is effective in the case of hardened sinners, then how much more is it a means of grace to one whose only stain comes from another (Adam). Ceremonial uncleanness from the Old Testament has a definite connection with the devlopment of the doctrine of original sin in the speculations of the first theologians to suggest this view of the infant-Origen and Cyprian. They were both reasoning from the practice to the doctrine.

As infant baptism became even more general, and since baptism was uniformly regarded as administered \"for the forgiveness of sins,\" the practice of infant baptism became a decisive argument for the doctrine of original sin. Such is the case in the Pelagian controversy at the beginning of the fifth century when Augustine, bishop of Hippo in North Africa, secured the triumph of the doctrine of original sin. One of his main arguments was from infant baptism, which had become such an established thing that Pelagius, who denied original sin, could not deny the appropriateness of baptizing children.

Infant baptism did not immediately after its introduction become the uniform practice. There are many instances where children in Christian homes in the fourth century were not baptized until their mature years. Such great leaders of the fourth-century church as Ambrose, Gregory of Nazianzus, Basil of Caesarea, Jerome, and many others were grown before they were baptized. In fact, in the fourth century the delay of baptism became a problem. The feeling developed that such a powerful sacrament which brought forgiveness of sins should not be utilized too early but reserved until a time when the maximum benefits could be secured. This was, of course, a one-sided and distorted understanding of the doctrine of baptism, and church leaders protested against this delay. But this misunderstanding is hardly the reason that sons of bishops, such as Gregory of Nazianzus, or children from the homes with the longest Christian heritage and deepest spiritual piety, such as that from which Basil came, were not baptized as infants. The extraordinary delay of baptism was a perversion of the usual practice of allowing children to reach a reasonable age before being baptized rather than a revolutionary phenomenon. (Early Christians Speak, pp. 58-62)



So it seems the issue of infant baptism dating back to the earliest apostles and Church Fathers is far from settled. Now for all the virogous responses disagreeing.

Pax.

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #1 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 03:46:40 »

Offline DCR

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #2 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 05:32:02 »
Lee,

I find it interesting that it said on all those early Christian inscriptions that the individual \"received grace on\" such and such date.  Is that phrase a euphemism for baptism?

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #2 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 05:32:02 »

Offline ollie

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #3 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 06:21:08 »
Are any of the words of these early church figures, post apostles, inspired through/of the Holy Spirit?
Why are they not part of the canon compiled into the book known as the Bible?
Why should I take them into account over the inspired word?

These words to me become uninspired opinion as do many of the words coming from us without the compiled canon backup as the test that they are of God.

Now many of these did not have this canon and were going on uninspired hearsay, some inspired hearsay, some access to the letters and early writings, and their own opinions on such.
Much like today.

ollie

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #3 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 06:21:08 »
Pinterest: GraceCentered.com

Offline DCR

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #4 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 06:25:28 »
ollie,

They're only valuable in determining what was generally believed and practiced by Christians at certain points in history.  I don't think Lee is suggesting that they carry the same weight of authority as Scripture.

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #4 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 06:25:28 »



Offline ollie

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #5 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 06:41:29 »
Quote
ollie,

They're only valuable in determining what was generally believed and practiced by Christians at certain points in history.  I don't think Lee is suggesting that they carry the same weight of authority as Scripture.
I know.

I was coming from the fact that many denominations today weigh their theological concepts on some of what these early uninspired folks said. They will use these uninspired writings to justify certain practices within their organizational religion and attempt to fit the inspired writings to them..

I have witnessed such here and other places in the world and in previous years in my experience as a Lutheran.

ollie

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #5 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 06:41:29 »

Offline Lee Freeman

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #6 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 09:14:57 »
Quote
Lee,

I find it interesting that it said on all those early Christian inscriptions that the individual \"received grace on\" such and such date.  Is that phrase a euphemism for baptism?
Ferguson says its a possibility but thinks that its far from certain. I was going to post his comments on the insscriptions but it was 4 a.m. and figured since I had to work today I'd do it later tonight.

Pax.[/color]

Offline Lee Freeman

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #7 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 09:21:13 »
Quote
ollie,

They're only valuable in determining what was generally believed and practiced by Christians at certain points in history.  I don't think Lee is suggesting that they carry the same weight of authority as Scripture.
Indeed, not. In fact, just the opposite. I don't believe the practice for infant baptism goes any farther back than the mid to late 2nd century. But I wanted to be fair and post quotes pro and con.

It seems to me that the practice evolved gradually over the centruries and if Ferguson's theory is right original sin was used to justify the extant practice of infant baptism.

Pax.[/color]

Offline A_Clever_Disguise

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #8 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 09:55:46 »
Here is an good article in defense of the practice of infant baptism.

From what I understand, the only early Church Father who spoke explicitly against baptism was Tertullian, and then it was in response to a heresy that said sins could not be forgiven after baptism.  For this same heresy, saints such as Basil the Great and John Chrysostom were not baptized until they were adults.

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #8 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 09:55:46 »

Offline Lee Freeman

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #9 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 10:03:50 »
Quote
Here is an good article in defense of the practice of infant baptism.

From what I understand, the only early Church Father who spoke explicitly against baptism was Tertullian, and then it was in response to a heresy that said sins could not be forgiven after baptism.  For this same heresy, saints such as Basil the Great and John Chrysostom were not baptized until they were adults.

Interesting article and a good marshalling of information, but it simply didn't convince me. There just isn't enough evidence before the mid-late second century that supports the widespread practice of infant baptism.

Pax.

Offline A_Clever_Disguise

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #10 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 10:40:12 »
Quote
Quote
Here is an good article in defense of the practice of infant baptism.

From what I understand, the only early Church Father who spoke explicitly against baptism was Tertullian, and then it was in response to a heresy that said sins could not be forgiven after baptism.  For this same heresy, saints such as Basil the Great and John Chrysostom were not baptized until they were adults.

Interesting article and a good marshalling of information, but it simply didn't convince me. There just isn't enough evidence before the mid-late second century that supports the widespread practice of infant baptism.

Pax.

It isn't just about the evidence, and I didn't expect anybody to be convinced immediately after reading the article; I simply posted it because it contributes to the discussion far more than I would.  To believe in the practice of infant baptism, Lee, requires a paradigm shift.[/color]

Offline Skip

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #11 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 10:52:10 »
Quote
Quote
Here is an good article in defense of the practice of infant baptism.

From what I understand, the only early Church Father who spoke explicitly against baptism was Tertullian, and then it was in response to a heresy that said sins could not be forgiven after baptism.  For this same heresy, saints such as Basil the Great and John Chrysostom were not baptized until they were adults.

Interesting article and a good marshalling of information, but it simply didn't convince me. There just isn't enough evidence before the mid-late second century that supports the widespread practice of infant baptism.

Pax.

If (as you've maintained on other threads) a proper or complete understanding of baptism is not required of the subject of baptism, then what objection remains to infant baptism?[/color]

Offline Lee Freeman

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #12 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 11:03:09 »
Quote
Quote
Quote
Here is an good article in defense of the practice of infant baptism.

From what I understand, the only early Church Father who spoke explicitly against baptism was Tertullian, and then it was in response to a heresy that said sins could not be forgiven after baptism.  For this same heresy, saints such as Basil the Great and John Chrysostom were not baptized until they were adults.

Interesting article and a good marshalling of information, but it simply didn't convince me. There just isn't enough evidence before the mid-late second century that supports the widespread practice of infant baptism.

Pax.

If (as you've maintained on other threads) a proper or complete understanding of baptism is not required of the subject of baptism, then what objection remains to infant baptism?

Believer's baptism is commanded, while a complete baptismal theology is not. In nearly ever case in Acts, as soon as a person came to faith in Christ, they were baptized \"immediately,\" apparently without a lengthy period of instruction, Bible correspondence course, Jewel Miller filmstrip (now on VHS and DVD) or a catechism class first. Infant baptism is neither commanded nor do we have examples of it. A person doesn't have to have a through understanding of baptismal theology in order for it to be valid (nearly every noted Church of Christ preacher up through the 1950s taught this; they all maintained that to say God's saving me is dependent upon a certain level of my understanding makes baptism a work. A baptism done for no other reason than simply to obey God was/is valid, they held. This apparently changed somewhere along in the 1960s or 70s). Baptismal candidates do have to be old enough to come to a personal decision to follow Christ: \"whoever believes and is baptized will be saved\". . . An infant cannot make a mental assention to follow Christ. Basically, an infant cannot believe.

Pax.[/color]

Offline Skip

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #13 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 11:06:20 »
Quote
Quote
Quote
Quote
Here is an good article in defense of the practice of infant baptism.

From what I understand, the only early Church Father who spoke explicitly against baptism was Tertullian, and then it was in response to a heresy that said sins could not be forgiven after baptism.  For this same heresy, saints such as Basil the Great and John Chrysostom were not baptized until they were adults.

Interesting article and a good marshalling of information, but it simply didn't convince me. There just isn't enough evidence before the mid-late second century that supports the widespread practice of infant baptism.

Pax.

If (as you've maintained on other threads) a proper or complete understanding of baptism is not required of the subject of baptism, then what objection remains to infant baptism?

Believer's baptism is commanded, while a complete baptismal theology is not. In nearly ever case in Acts, as soon as a person came to faith in Christ, they were baptized \"immediately,\" apparently without a lengthy period of instruction or a catechism class first. Infant baptism is neither commanded nor do we have examples of it. A person doesn't have to have a through understanding of baptismal theology in order for it to be valid (nearly every noted Church of Christ preacher up through the 1950s taught this-it apparently changed somewhere along in the 1960s or 70s); to say God's saving me is dependent upon a certain level of my understanding makes baptism a work. Baptismal candidates do have to be old enough to come to a personal decision to follow Christ: \"whoever believes and is baptized will be saved\". . . An infant cannot make a mental assention to follow Christ. Basically, an infant cannot believe.

Pax.

Well, the problem with your argument is that it is your own understanding of baptism, not that of the baptismal candidate.
Why do you impose your understanding upon the infant?[/color]

Offline Lee Freeman

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #14 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 11:09:26 »
Quote
Quote
Quote
Quote
Quote
Here is an good article in defense of the practice of infant baptism.

From what I understand, the only early Church Father who spoke explicitly against baptism was Tertullian, and then it was in response to a heresy that said sins could not be forgiven after baptism.  For this same heresy, saints such as Basil the Great and John Chrysostom were not baptized until they were adults.

Interesting article and a good marshalling of information, but it simply didn't convince me. There just isn't enough evidence before the mid-late second century that supports the widespread practice of infant baptism.

Pax.

If (as you've maintained on other threads) a proper or complete understanding of baptism is not required of the subject of baptism, then what objection remains to infant baptism?

Believer's baptism is commanded, while a complete baptismal theology is not. In nearly ever case in Acts, as soon as a person came to faith in Christ, they were baptized \"immediately,\" apparently without a lengthy period of instruction or a catechism class first. Infant baptism is neither commanded nor do we have examples of it. A person doesn't have to have a through understanding of baptismal theology in order for it to be valid (nearly every noted Church of Christ preacher up through the 1950s taught this-it apparently changed somewhere along in the 1960s or 70s); to say God's saving me is dependent upon a certain level of my understanding makes baptism a work. Baptismal candidates do have to be old enough to come to a personal decision to follow Christ: \"whoever believes and is baptized will be saved\". . . An infant cannot make a mental assention to follow Christ. Basically, an infant cannot believe.

Pax.

Well, the problem with your argument is that it is your own understanding of baptism, not that of the baptismal candidate.
Why do you impose your understanding upon the infant?[/color]

Skip, I'm not \"imposing\" my understanding on infants. An infant cannot understand anything.

Pax.

Offline s1n4m1n

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #15 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 11:26:47 »
I don't understand why there has to be a special command for infant baptism. IOW, people ask for a requirement that is not necessary. Isn't it  enough that Christ said \"unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot see the kingdom\"?


Ken

Offline s1n4m1n

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #16 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 11:33:18 »
Quote
This thread was inspired by a comment in another thread that the baptism question could be settled if everyone would simply follow the historic teaching of the Church regarding infant baptism. So I looked up some references in the Fathers to infant baptism.

BTW I thought the comment was about the purpose of baptism (i.e. for the remission of sins). But there are several baptism threads and I may have missed which post you are referring to.

Ken[/color]

Offline Lee Freeman

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #17 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 11:39:16 »
Quote
I don't understand why there has to be a special command for infant baptism. IOW, people ask for a requirement that is not necessary. Isn't it  enough that Christ said \"unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot see the kingdom\"?


Ken
But as I pointed out he also said \"he that believes and is baptized. . .\" An infant cannot believe. And Nicodemus asked  Jesus \"\"How can a man ┬ábe born when he is old?\"  Nicodemus asked. \"Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!\" Those words \"man\" and \"old\" may be significant. Nicodemus seems to have understood Jesus' words to be referring to adults. Then Jesus says: \"Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.\" Belief is mentioned over and over as a prerequisite to salvation by Jesus and the apostles.

Pax.[/color]

Offline WileyClarkson

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #18 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 11:40:27 »
John Mark Hicks and Greg Taylor in \"Down in the River to Pray\" state that the earliest mention of infant baptism is made by Hippolytus ca. 215AD.  The next extensive discussion was by Cyprian (ca. 258) and it became the norm by the late 4th Century.  The Council of Carthage (419 AD), under the leadership of Augustine, anathematized anyone who rejected infant baptism.

Offline Lee Freeman

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #19 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 11:46:03 »
Quote
Quote
This thread was inspired by a comment in another thread that the baptism question could be settled if everyone would simply follow the historic teaching of the Church regarding infant baptism. So I looked up some references in the Fathers to infant baptism.

BTW I thought the comment was about the purpose of baptism (i.e. for the remission of sins). But there are several baptism threads and I may have missed which post you are referring to.

Ken[/color]
It was this quote by Tidbit in JTW's latest thread:

If we'd go back to the belief of the historic church regarding paedo-baptism, then there wouldn't be a problem.


Pax.

Offline s1n4m1n

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #20 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 11:51:59 »
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This thread was inspired by a comment in another thread that the baptism question could be settled if everyone would simply follow the historic teaching of the Church regarding infant baptism. So I looked up some references in the Fathers to infant baptism.

BTW I thought the comment was about the purpose of baptism (i.e. for the remission of sins). But there are several baptism threads and I may have missed which post you are referring to.

Ken
It was this quote by Tidbit in JTW's latest thread:

If we'd go back to the belief of the historic church regarding paedo-baptism, then there wouldn't be a problem.


Pax.[/color]
OK, thanks. I wasn't keeping up.

This is all tidbit's fault.

Ken

Offline s1n4m1n

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #21 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 11:53:24 »
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Belief is mentioned over and over as a prerequisite to salvation by Jesus and the apostles.

Since, in your understanding, children can't believe then they must not be saved.[/color]

Offline Lee Freeman

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #22 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 11:57:54 »
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Belief is mentioned over and over as a prerequisite to salvation by Jesus and the apostles.

Since, in your understanding, children can't believe then they must not be saved.[/color]
I meant belief of adults.  As I understand it, children have no sin, hence no need of having sins taken away. Children can't believe, adults can.

Pax.

Offline Lee Freeman

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #23 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 12:00:34 »
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This thread was inspired by a comment in another thread that the baptism question could be settled if everyone would simply follow the historic teaching of the Church regarding infant baptism. So I looked up some references in the Fathers to infant baptism.

BTW I thought the comment was about the purpose of baptism (i.e. for the remission of sins). But there are several baptism threads and I may have missed which post you are referring to.

Ken
It was this quote by Tidbit in JTW's latest thread:

If we'd go back to the belief of the historic church regarding paedo-baptism, then there wouldn't be a problem.


Pax.
OK, thanks. I wasn't keeping up.

This is all tidbit's fault.

Ken
What this thread demonstrates is that there isn't complete agreement on exactly what the \"belief of the historic church\" regarding paedo-baptism was, apparently even among members of the historic church.

Pax.[/color]

Offline segell

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #24 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 12:18:42 »
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ollie,

They're only valuable in determining what was generally believed and practiced by Christians at certain points in history.  I don't think Lee is suggesting that they carry the same weight of authority as Scripture.
I know.

I was coming from the fact that many denominations today weigh their theological concepts on some of what these early uninspired folks said. They will use these uninspired writings to justify certain practices within their organizational religion and attempt to fit the inspired writings to them..

I have witnessed such here and other places in the world and in previous years in my experience as a Lutheran.

ollie
ollie -

Respectfully, be careful here.  Some would suggest that the churches of Christ do very similar things.  And I would suggest that those in the \"many\" denominations\" you refer to would gladly point out the Scripture supporting their opinion.  

Point is, going to Scripture to support certain beliefs, traditions, etc. is shared by many regardless of denomination or other group orientation.  

I wonder if the things you are suggesting are those things taught to you in your experience in the cofC.  I've heard a lot of denomination bashing from some pulpits (even the bashing of those errant brothers of that apostate cofC down the street that has a kitchen) if you get my drift.[/color]

Offline Skip

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #25 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 12:30:32 »
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..
Skip, I'm not \"imposing\" my understanding on infants. An infant cannot understand anything.

Pax.
If you had a child, would you baptize him or her as an infant, or not?
Your action or inaction is imposed upon your dependent child.

Many parents have had a young child (often at 4-6 years old, some as young as 2) request baptism.
Would you baptize without delay, or consider the child's faith, or understanding of baptism?

I have no reason at all to think that you would fail to impose your own beliefs regarding believer's baptism on your child.

Offline tidbit

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #26 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 12:42:11 »
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This is all tidbit's fault.

Ken
You're welcome.

Since this is all my fault, I will make the best defense of the practice of infant baptism as my meager training and study allows.

First of all, let me say that while baptism does effect the remission of sins, remission of sins is not the only effect (or benefit) of baptism.  Lee can and has listed many other benefits of baptism, many of which are not understood or considered when an adolescent or adult 'believer' is baptized.  So it is incorrect to say that an infant cannot benefit from baptism just because they have not sinned.

Offline James Rondon

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« Reply #27 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 12:49:12 »
The development of infant baptism is an evidence that the post-apostolic church had developed a faulty understanding of water baptism. This development put works above faith, and the authority of the church and its role in the salvation of others above that of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Offline spurly

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« Reply #28 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 12:49:45 »
Deleted

Offline CDHealy

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #29 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 12:51:02 »
James:

Your evaluation of post-apostolic understanding of baptism is wholly false and abjectly ignorant.

You need to actually read what the Church Fathers have to say about baptism and faith and authority.  What you think they have said is just wrong.

Offline James Rondon

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« Reply #30 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 12:55:04 »
I have read through them. Countless times, CD. I must say, however, that I prefer the actual Scriptures, especially when it comes to understanding the will of God.

Offline zoonance

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« Reply #31 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 12:55:47 »
My experience in evangelical churches are limited but there was a definite and pointed desire to get the youngest of children to accept Jesus into their hearts.  The bible classes were geared to this goal.  Sounds exactly like infant baptism theology without the baptism, if that makes sense.

Offline James Rondon

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #32 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 12:58:20 »
Not if the child is actually professing faith in Jesus Christ, and making the decision to be baptized as a result.

Offline ollie

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Infant Baptism in the Early Fathers
« Reply #33 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 12:58:25 »
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ollie,

They're only valuable in determining what was generally believed and practiced by Christians at certain points in history.  I don't think Lee is suggesting that they carry the same weight of authority as Scripture.
I know.

I was coming from the fact that many denominations today weigh their theological concepts on some of what these early uninspired folks said. They will use these uninspired writings to justify certain practices within their organizational religion and attempt to fit the inspired writings to them..

I have witnessed such here and other places in the world and in previous years in my experience as a Lutheran.

ollie
ollie -

Respectfully, be careful here.  Some would suggest that the churches of Christ do very similar things.  And I would suggest that those in the \"many\" denominations\" you refer to would gladly point out the Scripture supporting their opinion.  

Point is, going to Scripture to support certain beliefs, traditions, etc. is shared by many regardless of denomination or other group orientation.  

I wonder if the things you are suggesting are those things taught to you in your experience in the cofC.  I've heard a lot of denomination bashing from some pulpits (even the bashing of those errant brothers of that apostate cofC down the street that has a kitchen) if you get my drift.
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ollie -

Respectfully, be careful here.
I will try to be careful, thanks.  :)  

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Some would suggest that the churches of Christ do very similar things.
Many do I would say, as historical reference, not as authority or doctrine.

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 And I would suggest that those in the \"many\" denominations\" you refer to would gladly point out the Scripture supporting their opinion.
Yes I thought I pointed that out.

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Point is, going to Scripture to support certain beliefs, traditions, etc. is shared by many regardless of denomination or other group orientation.
Been there done that with many of them. They all have trouble pointing out the scripturalness of their identification.  

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I wonder if the things you are suggesting are those things taught to you in your experience in the cofC.
No they are my own conclusions. Drawn from my experiences in the denominations and their willingness to use other sources for authority other than the Bible.

 
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I've heard a lot of denomination bashing from some pulpits (even the bashing of those errant brothers of that apostate cofC down the street that has a kitchen) if you get my drift.
Do you mean by bashing pointing out certain things taught by some denominations are not scriptural things? Theres bashing and then there is speaking truth in love acoording to what is written.

I have only heard the brethren with kitchens in their buildings refered to as liberal brethren, not an apostate church of Christ.

I have witnessed Lutherans aand myself as a Lutheran using the writings of the so called church fathers to justify what is Luther's theology of Christian doctrine and the theology Luther brought with him out of the church at Rome. one example is what this topic is about, infant baptism. It was one of the big factors in my departing from them when I went to using just the Bible for authority.
It is my understanding that this is all the church of Christ uses for their authority. That is true of the local congregation of which I am a member. I can not speak for the rest of the local congregations of Christ. However I have visited others and they used nothing, but Bible while I was among them. They do use commentaries at times.

ollie[/color]

Offline tidbit

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« Reply #34 on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 - 13:00:28 »
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Basically, an infant cannot believe.
...

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An infant cannot understand anything.

This is simply not true.

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Luke 1:39-44

39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, \"Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.


Psalm 22:9-10

Yet you are he who took me from the womb;
   you made me trust you at my mother's breasts.
On you was I cast from my birth,
   and from my mother's womb you have been my God.


Psalm 71:17

O God, from my youth you have taught me,
   and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.


Matthew 11:25-26

25 At that time Jesus declared, \"I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.
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