Infant Baptism and Protestant Theology - Mondays with McMaken

Continuing on in this self-promotional series, I offer you the following paragraph on the question of how infant baptism fits within Protestant theology.

W. Travis McMaken, The Sign of the Gospel: Toward an Evangelical Doctrine of Infant Baptism after Karl Barth, Emerging Scholars (Fortress, 2013), 24.

Of particular interest is how Calvin’s doctrine of baptism provides an especially instructive look at the inherent tension within all reformational doctrines of infant baptism. For both Luther and Calvin, and the mainline of the Reformation as it proceeded from them, baptism is only effective to accomplish what it is said to accomplish insofar as it is joined with faith. This pushed both Luther and Calvin to make assertions about the possibility of faith in infants as well as to argue that those baptized must later fulfill their baptisms with faith. The status of such affirmations is not important here. But they do reveal that for all the bluster in support of infant baptism against the Reformation’s radical wing, the affirmation of infant baptism—at least in the form it then assumed—is not a self-evident conclusion for Protestant theology.

Calvin’s doctrine of baptism provides a particularly insightful picture of this state of affairs. Because Calvin’s doctrine is . . .

Dying to find out what Calvin’s doctrine is?!?! You know the drill.



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