Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Bad arguments for infant communion (part 3)

Part one, part two.

At this point, a further Baptist assertion can be made. The debate over infant communion and infant baptism is often framed by the paedobaptist or paedocommunionist in terms of "whether there is continuity between the covenants or not". This is actually a red herring. Once the paedo-whatnot has conceded that the New Covenant fulfillment of the Old Covenant land promises should be seen in terms of a spiritual inheritance during the present time and a physical inheritance only in the age to come, he can't frame the debate that way any longer. At this point, both Baptist and non-Baptist have agreed that Old Covenant promises do not have to move in only one direction and dimension (expanded privileges, nothing can be withdrawn). We have agreed that they can evolve in a complex way such that today the physical territory doesn't actually covenantally belong to anyone - that in one sense the privilege has contracted. If the paedo-baptist/communionist admits this, then he can't any more just slap down the "expanded privileges" card when talking about baptism or communion as if it were a trump suit. If the way in which the expansion of covenantal blessing works out for land is in some sense a spiritual and/or future fulfillment, then he's accepted the principle that Baptists argue for in the case of baptism and the Lord's Supper. He can no longer rule it out a priori as an illegitimate option. In other words, if he argues like a Baptist on one point, then this means that we're no longer debating "continuity or not" - we both accept that continuity is not a straightforward yes/no option. We're now debating the extent to which "spiritualisation" and "futurisation" take place and where it applies, not whether they take place at all. On this issue of the land, it's ironically only the Zionist dispensationalist who's actually taking the supposed principle of irrevocable covenant privileges and applying it consistently, though he seriously misidentifies who God's covenant people actually are.

It appears at this point that our imaginary Jewish friend, quoted in part one, is taking a rather simplistic view of things. Next, I want to examine what he's actually said.

To be continued...

No comments: