I’ve appreciated much of D.G. Hart’s diverse writing over the years, and I found myself having similar reactions as him to Justin Taylor’s interview with a credo-baptist. However, I don’t have the expert familiarity of the Westminster Confession that Hart does. That’s why I appreciated his brief reaction to the covenantal aspect of baptism in his post “Young, Restless, and Dunked.” Taylor’s interviewee accuses paedobaptists of flattening the covenants, whereas Hart (rightly) points out that Baptists are actually the ones doing the flattening. His conclusions echo my view on Reformed Baptists – that that title is something of an oxymoron.
“Baptists like John Piper who defend male headship in the home should not have trouble with such a view of familial solidarity. But in point of fact Baptists do struggle with the covenantal objection to individualism and ironically embrace the modern view of human beings as isolated and autonomous selves. Of course, they can’t go all the way with such a chilling view of babies and their relationship to the household of God and so devise dedication as a way to bring children in by the back door. But one cannot begin to count the ways that dedication is a man-made contrivance, one of those examples of what Calvin called the idol-assembly line that exists in every person’s soul.
“As an aside, Taylor’s post should put to rest the claim by the Young and Restless crowd that they are Reformed. Their position on the sacrament of baptism differs little from Anabaptist teaching. In fact, the Baptist requirement that paedo-baptists be rebaptized (hence ana-baptist) puts the teaching and practice of contemporary Baptists and Anabaptists into remarkable alignment. Does this mean that the Young and Restless or other Baptists are bad people? Of course, not. Does it mean they aren’t Christian? No. Does it mean that they should not claim to be Reformed? Well, duh!”
Regardless of one’s position, one has to acknowledge that it’s an important (albeit touchy) issue, evidenced by the bevy of comments on both of the linked postings.