The Case For Covenantal Infant Baptism: A Reformed Baptist Overview and Evaluation -- By: Fred A. Malone

Journal: Reformed Baptist Theological Review
Volume: RBTR 02:1 (Jan 2005)
Article: The Case For Covenantal Infant Baptism: A Reformed Baptist Overview and Evaluation
Author: Fred A. Malone

The Case For Covenantal Infant Baptism:
A Reformed Baptist Overview and Evaluation

Fred A. Malone

Fred A. Malone, Ph.D., is pastor of First Baptist Church, Clinton, LA. Fred has authored The Baptism of Disciples Alone and serves on the Founders Board of Directors and the board of Reformed Baptist Theological Review.

The Case For Covenantal Infant Baptism1 , compiled and edited by Gregg Strawbridge, is a compendium of respected authors offering chapters on selected topics concerning the covenantal basis for infant baptism. Strawbridge appeals to “honest hearts” willing to submit to all the Scriptures when discussing this subject, noting also that not all the authors agree with each other on the various points made (7).

This appeal for honest hearts is certainly needed when discussing the doctrine of baptism. As brothers in Christ we all should be willing to let the Scripture alone settle the issue. However, it is Strawbridge’s note that the authors disagree with each other at various points that is disturbing to this reviewer. The covenant theology that supports infant baptism should have a greater degree of unanimity than this volume displays in order to be convincing to the sincere student of Scripture.

Not all the chapters are of equal helpfulness to the discussion. However, each chapter will be summarized, followed by a brief evaluation in which I will try to show wherein the authors agree and disagree with each other. In this manner, I hope to give a good overview of the arguments for covenantal infant baptism while at the same time revealing their weaknesses.

Overview and Evaluation


Gregg Strawbridge reveals that once he was a Baptist pastor who had trouble explaining apostasy passages such as Heb. 10:26–31 and 6:4–6 as simply false confessions of faith (4). He became convinced that these passages dealt with New Covenant members who broke covenant, thus opening the way for the unregenerate in the New Covenant, including baptized infants of believers. Further, he decided that the Baptist

argument for a needed warrant to baptize infants (according to the regulative principle of worship) was invalid because there is no warrant to baptize the professing adult children of believers either, which is done without question (5–7). Thus, he accepted the paedobaptism of New Covenant members who may later break the covenant as apostates.

Contra Introduction. Of course, the apostate of

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