The following excerpt is from Calvin’s Institutes where he makes a clear logical case for infant baptism. This is not his end all argument but one of the many he uses in contra the Anabaptists of his time. Enjoy!

“In order to gain a stronger footing here, they add, that baptism is a sacrament of penitence and faith, and as neither of these is applicable to tender infancy, we must beware of rendering its meaning empty and vain, by admitting infants to the communion of baptism. But these darts are directed more against God than against us; since the fact that circumcision was a sign of repentance is completely established by many passages of Scripture, (Jer. 4:4.) Thus Paul terms it a seal of the righteousness of faith, (Rom. 4:11.) Let God, then, be demanded why he ordered circumcision to be performed on the bodies of infants? For baptism and circumcision being here in the same case, they cannot give any thing to the latter without conceding it to the former. If they recur to their usual evasion, that, by the age of infancy, spiritual infants were then figured, we have already closed this means of escape against them. We say, then, that since God imparted circumcision, the sign of repentance and faith, to infants, it should not seem absurd that they are now made partakers of baptism, unless men choose to clamour against an institution of God. But as in all his acts, so here also, enough of wisdom and righteousness shines forth to repress the slanders of the ungodly. For although infants, at the moment when they were circumcised, did not comprehend what the sign meant, still they were truly circumcised for the mortification of their corrupt and polluted nature,—a mortification at which they afterwards aspired when adults. In fine, the objection is easily disposed of by the fact, that children are baptized for future repentance and faith. Though these are not yet formed in them, yet the seed of both lies hid in them by the secret operation of the Spirit. This answer at once overthrows all the objections which are twisted against us out of the meaning of baptism; for instance, the title by which Paul distinguishes it when he terms it the “washing of regeneration and renewing,” (Tit. 3:5.) Hence they argue, that it is not to be given to any but to those who are capable of such feelings. But we, on the other hand, may object, that neither ought circumcision, which is designated regeneration, to be conferred on any but the regenerate. In this way, we shall condemn a divine institution. Thus, as we have already hinted, all the arguments which tend to shake circumcision are of no force in assailing baptism. Nor can they escape by saying, that everything which rests on the authority of God is absolutely fixed, though there should be no reason for it, but that this reverence is not due to pædobaptism, nor other similar things which are not recommended to us by the express word of God. They always remain caught in this dilemma. The command of God to circumcise infants was either legitimate and exempt from cavil, or deserved reprehension. If there was nothing incompetent or absurd in it, no absurdity can be shown in the observance of pædobaptism.”

John Calvin, vol. 3, Institutes of the Christian Religion (Edinburgh: The Calvin Translation Society, 1845), 369-70.

Here was Calvin’s argument in case anyone missed it.

Calvin had just argued that X can be applied to children. Anticipating objections, he mentions one that argues that X cannot be applied to children because X is a sign (think symbol, not evidence) of repentance and since infants cannot experience repentance, they therefore cannot receive a symbol of repentance.

How does Calvin answer this objection?

Calvin, assuming that the objector accepts the Bible as the word of God and accepting their premise that X is a sign of repentance, reduces the argument to an absurdity by pointing out that Y was also a sign of repentance (X=Y) and yet God commanded Y to be applied to infants.

Given that X=Y (only in the case that both served as a sign of repentance) how then can one thing be conceded to Y but not be conceded to X?

It can’t!

So then, what should a rebuttal to this argument look like? How can one get around it?

Logically, one can not get around it. It is impossible. Does logical validity constitute truth however? No.

So that leaves an objector to explain why one or more of the premises are false. In other words, as far as this argument goes, one needs to explain why X is not a sign of repentance and/or why Y is not.


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Reformed Unity in Diversity

Posted: March 14, 2015 by rickyroldan in Topical
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Consider this portion of the Reformed Presbyterian Church General Assembly’s (RPCGA) Book of Church Order which is Dr. Kenneth Talbot’s (President of Whitefield Theological Seminary) denomination and helped author this BCO. We would all do well to take its concerns serious and learn from their heart for unity.

SECTION 6: Ecclesiastical Unity

A 6:1 In John 17:17-21, Jesus Christ our Lord states:

“Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth. As thou hast sent Me into the world even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent Me.”

A 6:2 There are three basic principles taught by our Lord in this passage of Scripture:

A 6:3 First, that sanctification is based on the truth of God’s Word, and Christ, therefore, prays that His Church will be bathed in that truth. “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.” The Church of Jesus Christ must be a sanctified church, that is, a church, which is committed to the purity of the fundamentals of the faith as, taught in our Reformed confessions. As the Apostle Peter states: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of-Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light”.17 Therefore, the ultimate foundation of a true church is the doctrine of Scriptural sanctification.

The True Church will seek to be sanctified by the Word of the Living God. Another way of stating this principle is that a true church sees the Word of God as the final authority on all issues of life, faith and practice. This, of necessity, would include biblical doctrine and administering the sacraments and church discipline in the fellowship of those called by our God unto Christ Jesus.18

A 6:4 The second principle taught in this passage of Scripture is that Christ has sent us into the world to present the Gospel of His Kingdom as, He Himself preached during His earthly ministry. “As thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word.”

A 6:5 The priority of the church is to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. The Apostle Paul states that the Church is seeking- to “preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.”19 Here is another mark of the Church of Jesus Christ, the calling of men to Christ by the blessed evangel. However, this will only be accomplished through a church, which is seeking true sanctification. This is our calling as a truly sanctified church. As our Lord teaches us, “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, ‘All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever. I have commanded- you, and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.’”20 The evangelistic work of a true church is two-fold: first, to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and secondly, to teach them to observe all things whatsoever Christ has commanded. The work of evangelism never ends in the life of the church.

A 6:6 The third principle is that of unity in the Church of Jesus Christ as living testimony to-the truth that Christ was, sent by God the Father.

“That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent Me. “

A 6:7 Here is the most fundamental principle and work required of the church. If the church is to be the testimony of true spiritual unity of believers, as expressed in Christ’s prayer, the living example of the work and teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, it must not only verbally proclaim the truth, but it must have unity as a living testimony that what is spoken of concerning Christ and salvation is demonstrated in the life of the church, both spiritually and physically. Our Lord states in John 13:35, “By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.” The church is to be one and have true unity in Christ Jesus. This is another mark of the Christian Church. It therefore requires that the visible church, of necessity, must seek to establish a physical unity as declared by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:3-6, to which he directs the church in this matter by stating: “… endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” When the church is divided and riddled with schism, then we have denied the directive of the Apostle and have willingly ignored the spiritual unity of the believers in verse twenty-one, especially as it would relate to the life of the visible church. John Owen, the English Puritan, wrote concerning the unity of the church:

“I confess I would rather, much rather, spend all my time and days in making up and healing the breaches and schisms that are amongst Christians than one hour in justifying our divisions, even therein, wherein, on the one side, they are capable o f a fair defence. But who is suff icient for such an attempt? The closing of differences, amongst Christians is like opening the book in the Revelation,— there is none able or worthy to do it, in heaven or in earth, but the lamb: when He will put forth the greatness of His power for it, it shall be accomplished, and not before. In the meantime, a reconciliation amongst all Protestants is our duty, and practicable, and had perhaps ere this been in some forwardness of accomplishment had men rightly understood when in such a reconciliation, according to the mind of God, doth consist. Where men have laboured as much in the improvement of the principle of forbearance as they have done to subdue other men to their opinions, religion will have another appearance in the world.”

A 6:8 The early Presbyterian Church believed in unity and a oneness of Christ’s Church. The Scot’s Confession of 1560 states concerning the Kirk that:

“. . . we believe in one God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, so we firmly believe that from the beginning there has been, now is, and to the end of the world shall be, one Kirk, that is to say, one company and multitude of men chosen by God, who rightly worship and embrace Him by true faith in Christ Jesus, who is the only Head of the Kirk, even as it is the body and spouse of Christ Jesus. This Kirk is Catholic, that is, universal, because it contains the chosen of all ages, of all realms, nations, and tongues, be they of the Jews or be they of the Gentiles, who have communion and society with God the Father, and with His Son, Christ Jesus, through the sanctification of His Holy Spirit.”

A 6:9 George Gillespie the great Scottish theologian writing on the unity of the church, states:

“Yet there be no strife between us and you, for-we be brethren-and is not the Canaanite and the Perizzite yet in the Land? Oh, let it not be told in Gath, nor published in the streets of Ahkelon. Let it not be said that there can be no unity in the church without Prelacy. Brethren, I charge you, by the roes and by the hinds of the fields, that ye awake not nor stir up Jesus Christ till He pleases: for His rest is sweet and glorious with His well-beloved. It shall be no grief of heart to you afterward that you have pleased others as well as yourselves, and have stretched your principles for an accommodation in church government as well as in worship, and that for the Church’s peace and edification and that the ears of our common enemies may tingle when it shall be said, The Churches of Christ have rest, and are edified, and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the joy of the Holy Ghost, are multiplied. Alas! how shall our divisions and contentions hinder the preaching and learning of Christ, and the edifying of one another in love? “Is Christ divided?” said the apostle. There is but one Christ; yea, the Head and the body make but one Christ, so that you cannot divide the body without dividing Christ. Is there so much as a seam in all Christ’s garment? Is it not woven throughout, from the top to the bottom? … Oh, brethren, we shall be one in heaven; let us pack up differences in this place of our pilgrimage the best way we can. Nay, we will not despair of unity in this world. Hath not God promised to give us one heart and one way; … Brethren, it is not impossible, pray for it, endeavor it, press hard toward the mark of accommodation. How much better is it that you be one with the other Reformed Churches, though somewhat strained and bound up, than to be divided, though at full liberty and elbow-room! ‘Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than a house full of sacrifices with strife.’”

A 6:10 We have a duty, as those called in the hope of Christ Jesus, to seek reconciliation among the Reformed churches and to seek accommodation on the diversity of thought concerning the non-fundamentals. St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:12-20, 25-27 states:

“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, because 1 am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body… That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”

A 6:11 The Westminster Confession of Faith of 1647 teaches us that: “The purest Churches under heaven are subject both to mixture and error.” 21 It is therefore impossible for us to create a perfect church on this earth until the second coming of Christ Jesus our Lord. Yet we must strive for unity and oneness. Can there be a living testimony that Christ Jesus has come in the flesh from the Father, if there is only division and schism dividing the church? The time has come for Reformed churches of the historical faith to put aside our differences by working toward laying a foundation for a common confession and allowing for accommodation, without compromise, within the ecclesiastical community. We have allowed our precisionist attitudes to divide the church, thus allowing liberalism to gain the upper hand in many denominations. The Reformed Presbyterian Church General Assembly expresses its desire for those of like faith, to come and associate with us in the fundamentals. of the Reformed faith, with the hope that one day we will share one common confession, as one visible church.

“Don’t Call It A Comeback”…

Posted: March 3, 2015 by rickyroldan in Topical

“I been here for years” is a line off LL Cool J’s track entitled “Momma said knock you out” as he came back on the hip hop scene to respond to another rapper/MC named Kool Moe Dee who had some overstated opinions about LL’s legacy so he felt the need to back strong with a strong and clear response to not only defend his legacy but also to throw a few counter punches of his own.

For LL Cool J this was a matter of honor and truth. Therefore in like fashion I want to announce and proclaim that though I have been M.I.A in regards to my music and writing I have decided to make a comeback. Honor and truth was LL’s inspiration and it is also mine. I have sat back long enough watching my reformed theological tradition get attacked and especially misrepresented from those outside and more specifically those who claim to be reformed in their theology who revise history and water down orthodox reformed biblical doctrine. In addition, the false doctrines that continue to plague our urban culture is disheartening and we cannot just sit back and take these punches without doing some countering of our own.

In light of these issues I will be writing more apologetically and polemically whatever the cost and with all due respect no matter the pastor, scholar or theologian. In truth and love of course but we all already know how those with false doctrines like to exaggerate and accuse those confident in their convictions and doctrine as unloving and blah blah blah. Nevertheless the truth must be preached and taught everywhere for all time.

Brothers and Sisters, it is time. Join me and let us bring back the honor and truth of Christ and His true gospel.

Its a Reformed Ordinance

I Have Been Persuaded . . .

Posted: February 26, 2015 by rickyroldan in Topical

I Have Been Persuaded . . ..

Proverbs 26:4,5
4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
Lest you also be like him. 5 Answer a fool according to his folly,
Lest he be wise in his own eyes.

2 Corinthians 10:5
5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,

1 Corinthians 1:18-25
18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach[b] to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Romans 1:16,17
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Romans 3:23-26
For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

John 3:16-21
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

“The foolishness of God is wiser than man”

The authority of scripture proceeds not from the church, but from God who gave that scripture.

Reformedontheweb's Blog

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015Conclusion, That the authority of Scripture is founded on its being spoken by God. This confirmed by the conscience of the godly, and the consent of all men of the least candor. A fourth objection commonin the mouths of the profane. Refutation.

4. It is necessary to attend to what I lately said, that our faith in doctrine is not established until we have a perfect conviction that God is its author. Hence, the highest proof of Scripture is uniformly taken from the character of him whose Word it is. The prophets and apostles boast not their own acuteness or any qualities which win credit to speakers, nor do they dwell on reasons; but they appeal to the sacred name of God, in order that the whole world may be compelled to submission. The next thing to be considered is, how it appears not probable merely, but certain, that…

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