Saturday, January 21, 2006


I’ve been pondering the final message of the book “Paedofaith” by Rich Lusk.

Two songs come to mind: “Faith of Our Fathers” and “Jesus Loves Me” (see the bottom of the post).

In an Arminian church, a parent “knows” that their children are “born saved” – because of the “age of accountability” – and at some point they lose that coverage and are as lost as the pagan’s kids next door. Parents are in the position of raising children to be young Christians, while simultaneously trying to get them to become young Christians. Do we disciple them or convert them?

Now, with a better sense of what a “covenant family” should be, I realize that the promises of God, like His promise to Abraham, are for our children. It is right and proper for us to baptize our babies into the family of God.

But the implications of this are “interesting” if you follow the trail.

Do I believe that baptism is what saves us? No.

The Westminster Shorter Catechism says:

Q. 94. What is baptism?
A. Baptism is a sacrament, wherein the washing with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,[193] doth signify and seal our ingrafting into Christ, and partaking of the benefits of the covenant of grace, and our engagement to be the Lord’s.[194]

Here are the questions:

What benefits of the covenant of grace does baptism allow our children to partake of?
Do we baptize our babies to welcome them into the covenant and then keep them in some sort of stasis until they are able to understand the rest?

Are our babies in the covenant or out of the covenant? Are they part of the covenant, or are they anathema?

There are two spiritual “places”. You are either anathema or you are in the covenant of God. If our children are in the covenant, do we allow them the benefits? If they are not in the covenant, on what basis can we baptize them?

How do we provide spiritual nourishment to those in the covenant?

Q. 96. What is the Lord’s Supper?

A. The Lord’s Supper is a sacrament, wherein, by giving and receiving bread and wine, according to Christ’s appointment, his death is showed forth;[197] and the worthy receivers are, not after a corporal and carnal manner, but by faith, made partakers of his body and blood, with all his benefits, to their spiritual nourishment, and growth in grace.[198]

If we do not give our children this spiritual nourishment, are we sending the message that they’re part of the family, but they can’t eat at the table with us?
We (on one hand) baptize babies through the parents’ covenantal faith – but that same faith doesn’t cover the nourishment. Would we adopt a child but not let him or her eat with us?

If we believe the Bible when it says that we must have the faith of a child, how can we then say that children don’t have enough faith to eat at the same table as we do?

When I bought “Paedofaith”, I didn’t realize that it would open yet another can of worms for me. And this can of worms has been around in the Christian Reformed Church.

The final question is "Are we bringing our children fully into the covenant, or into a “halfway house” where they are “sort of in, but not all the way”?

Frederick W. Faber

Faith of our fathers, living still,In spite of dungeon, fire and sword;O how our hearts beat high with joyWhenever we hear that glorious Word!
Faith of our fathers, holy faith!We will be true to thee till death.

Words by Anna B. WarnerMusic by Wm. B. Bradbury

Jesus loves me! This I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong,
They are weak but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.