Monday, February 24, 2014

Who Can Baptize? Part 2

Kevin DeYoung's post on who is authorized to baptized was interesting enough that I wanted to respond to his main points. I've responded to his "Biblical" argument already. Now to his "Theological" argument, the one he finds most compelling.
Here he says that "we must take into account how Christ rules his church. ... As his under-shepherds, our Chief Shepherd rules in the church through the elders of the church. ... The sacraments (or ordinances) involve the administration of grace and exercise of church power which belong to the office bearers of the church."
First, I appreciate how DeYoung tried to stay away from the infant vs. believer's baptism issue throughout. That's not his purpose for this post and it could've muddled the discussion.
Second, I'm curious as to the picture he has in his mind about a non-elder baptism. Is he thinking about a father deciding to baptize his son at home in his bathtub? Or, is he thinking about a church baptism service that an elder is overseeing but the father is the one doing the baptism? Maybe both? I think these could/should be viewed very differently. Why? Because in the latter, the father would be functioning under the authority of the elder. This is basically "delegated authority". I wonder if that subverts his theological argument somewhat.
Third, the idea that baptism involves the administration of grace is part of a theological system that, as a baptist, is not part of my paradigm. It seems that in his last sentence, his ecclesiological system causes him to view the church's authority and baptism itself in such a way that aids his argument. But since I don't hold to his ecclesiological views, I find this argument not convincing in the least.
I'll pick up with arguments 3 and 4 soon.

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