Why Baptize Children?

Rev. Daniel Hyde, pastor of Oceanside United Reformed Church in Oceanside, CA builds a case for paedobaptism. Hyde has written Jesus Loves the Little Children: Why We Baptize Children, an excellent book treating the biblical, theological, and historical aspects of the subject. Join us for this insightful discussion.

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Christ the Center focuses on Reformed Christian theology. In each episode a group of informed panelists discusses important issues in order to encourage critical thinking and a better understanding of Reformed doctrine with a view toward godly living. Browse more episodes from this program and learn how to subscribe.

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Jed S.

5 years ago

Gentlemen,
I really enjoyed the episode. One question it raised for me, though:
Would a baptism officiated by an ordained woman (in the PCUSA, for example) be considered just an irregular baptism or actually an invalid baptism?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Danny Hyde

5 years ago

Hello Jed,

It is my understanding of historic catholic and Reformed doctrine, that the baptizer does not invalidate baptism. An invalid baptism would be one without water and/or without the name of the Triune God.

Alex

5 years ago

I was baptized as an infant in the Roman Catholic Church by non-believing parents; baptized a second time at age 15 in a Baptist church as an unregenerate sinner. I’m now in my 30s & have experienced saving faith in Christ & am an active member of a local church. Should I be baptized a third time? If not, which one of my baptisms is valid? Would appreciate any comments. Thank you.

Danny Hyde

5 years ago

Hello Alex,

Since you were baptized with water in the name of the Triune God as an infant [as was I] your first baptism is your baptism. God in his amazing grace brought the promise of the gospel signified in that baptism into reality later in your life.

Alex

5 years ago

This makes me really happy as I’ve been wondering for a long time. The thought of NEEDING to be baptized again (as some have told me) so that I can be a legit Christian seems to me like works-based theology. Thank you, Mr. Hyde. I bought your book Jesus Loves the Little Children – looking forward to learning more.

Jeff Downs

5 years ago

Danny, how do you understand the WCF when it states “There be only two sacraments ordained by Christ our Lord in the Gospel; that is to say, baptism, and the Supper of the Lord: neither of which may be dispensed by any, but by a minister of the Word lawfully ordained.”

First, what would make someone a minister of the word as opposed to what would disqualify a person? Second, what constitutes “lawfully ordained.”

Thanks,
Jeff Downs

Rob

5 years ago

Been doing a Keller study on Galatians at our church, and there’s a big, notable absence from this epistle I see which is this: Paul, in refuting these Judaisers for insisting on observance of law – particularly circumcision – at no point (although this epistle would have been the perfect opportunity) says anything like, “Wait… don’t you remember, we REPLACED circumcision with infant baptizing, remember?” Wouldn’t this have been the perfect place to mention something like this, if the church was supposed to be sprinkling babies? I try to be open to the paedo pov, but I just don’t see infant baptizing in scripture.

I guess I’m just a dyed-in-the-wool credo, but I still love the reformed forum broadcasts. God bless you.

Mark G

5 years ago

Paul’s concerns with respect to the judaisers went much deeper than the theology of covenant signs. I think it had more to do with external religiosity and confidence in the flesh as opposed to walking in the Spirit. One could make baptism a matter of the flesh as much as the judaisers made circumcision, and a host of other OT practices fleshly. Their desire was to glory in the flesh. Since Paul’s concern was to argue that entire Mosaic edifice was fulfilled in Christ, I think reducing his discussion to specifics regarding the relationship between OT and NT practice would have conflated his argument. If Paul was only concerned about the physical sign he should have told the Galations to go ahead and be circumcised since it has no real spiritual significance either way (cf. Timothy’s circumcision). What the judaizers were advocating was a rejection of faith for a trust in external religious practice.

I just finished a study of Keller’s on Mark (King’s Cross). It was like a study of the gospel according to Jesus, CS Lewis, Franz Kafka, Camus, and Kierkegaard.

Benjamin Pennington

5 years ago

Mr. Hyde, or Reformed Forum,

Does the book or the Reformed Forum site give any info about the differences between Reformed Presbyterian infant baptism and say, that of the Lutherans? My suspicion is that there may be differences, but curious about looking into this. I say that because I attended my nephew’s baptism at an ELCA Lutheran church (a denomination I disagree with very much!), and after they had administered the baptism, the pastor said, “Now Jackson has been sealed with the Holy Spirit forever” and went on to indicate that this was his salvation. RED FLAG! I am a Southern Baptist and am, in much of my theology, reformed, so I am patiently listening to the reformed side of the issues. Thanks!

Dan

5 years ago

Benjamin,

If you haven’t listened to this podcast, you should. I did last night. I do believe they pointed out the difference between Lutheran and Reformed understanding of baptism. The Reformed do not believe that baptism in and of itself, is “salvific” (think I’ve heard that word before!). But hopefully someone from RF will chime in and offer their expertise. For now, I can say you were absolutely right to put up the red flag.

Benjamin Pennington

5 years ago

Thanks, Dan. I did listen to it while I was doing a few other things and couldn’t remember if that was discussed, nor did I have time to go through it for another hour! I wasn’t sure if most Lutheran synods follow the Reformed tradition, or if it mostly depended on specific congregations. Thanks for the reply, Dan!

Tad Hittenberger

4 years ago

I think it would have been more informative if you’d had someone responding from the credo perspective. Your claims didn’t have any challenge. It was also interesting to me that Mr. Hyde admitted making arguments from silence.

Since God was very specific regarding rules and consequences regarding circumcision, does it bother you at all that the same cannot be said for water baptism?

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