Presbyterians and Baptists (namely Reformed Baptists) have much in common. Still, the places where we differ are important, and we must engage in discussion and debate about those differences. Baptism, namely its recipients, is an important area of disagreement. In this debate, Thomas Schreiner (credobaptism) and David VanDrunen (paedobaptism) present their case for their respective positions, followed by questioning and rebuttal. I make this debate available here because I find it to be a good representation of these two views. Albeit, one should consider multiple voices and books when it comes to this issue. While I side with Schreiner on this issue (i.e. only those who repent and believe the gospel are to receive baptism), I don’t necessarily agree with every single thing he says, or every point of articulation. Nevertheless, I believe he presents a strong case.
I would like to point the listener to a major problem I find with the paedobaptism position, which I think comes out very clearly in VanDrunen’s argumentation. One of the major contentions I have with the paedobaptist position is that they cannot interpret the New Covenant on its own terms. They, as VanDrunen demonstrates in this debate, continually seek to understand the New Covenant on the terms of the Old Covenant. However, the terms of the New Covenant are clearly different in some respects (see Jer. 31:31-34; i.e. “new;” “not like the covenant that I made with their fathers;” “no longer;” “for they shall all know me”). While continuity certainly exists between the covenants, there is also significant discontinuity, which paedobaptists tend to ignore, fail to realize, or minimize. For those of you who wish to dig deeper into the Baptist (credobaptist) position, I recommend you read Covenant Children Today: Physical or Spiritual?, by Alan Conner.