Saturday, November 19, 2005

Reformed Theology and Baptismal Regeneration ?

I hate to come in and burst a few of my Reformed brethrens bubbles but (much to the surprise of many Reformed Christians) there is version of baptismal regeneration that is found in some Reformed circles.

Cornelius Burges, one of the more important Westminster Divines, the man who penned the Confession, and who played an important part in the committee that gave us the confession’s section on baptism wrote a (once) famous book on this subject titled Baptismall Regeneration of Elect Infants, Professed by the Church of England, according to the Scriptures, and Primitive Church, the Present Reformed Churches and Many Particular Divines Apart. I know the title is a mouth full. I wish it were on the web, but it is not.

There were other divines at the Westminster Assembly who agreed with Burges on the issue of Baptismal regeneration of "elect" infants. Modern Reformed Christians need to remember that these men were highly respected Reformed pastors and theologians, who played an important part at Westminster. You have often had some Reformed Theologians that have held to a (qualified) understanding of baptismal regeneration.

I happen to have a photo-copied version of Cornelius Burges' book. It is interesting reading and very difficult reading as well. I am not yet sure what I think of it but it is an interesting topic to look at from an older Reformed vantage point.

Dr. Joel Garver has an interesting article on this subject titled Baptismal Regeneration and the Westminster Confession 28.6. Some of you may find it interesting. I did, but I am not sure what I think about this subject. It is not high on my list of topics to tackle.

Dominus vobiscum,

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