Episode 84: When You Believe

Debate topic: “Infants are not the proper subjects of the ordinance of baptism.” Jamin Hübner, founder of www.RealApologetics.org and author of The Portable Presuppositionalist, affirms. Eastern Orthodox Rev. Pr. Laurent Cleenewerck, editor of The Eastern / Greek Orthodox New Testament, denies. This episode is part 2 of their debate, including the second round of cross-examination, closing statements and listener Q&A; listen to episode 83, “God Bless the Child,” for part 1’s opening statements, rebuttals and first round of cross-examination.


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6 thoughts on “Episode 84: When You Believe

  1. That was a good and cordial debate. However, I think it would have been more constructive to determine exactly what is the meaning, function, and purpose of baptism first. And then once that is established, you can move
    on to discussing whom should it be administered to.

    Jamin mentioned a couple of times that texts of the early fathers showed
    they practiced “believers baptism”. I wished Laurent would have challenged
    him on that because clearly they believed baptism and the new birth were
    one in the same event.
    I appreciated you using my question to Jamin. I should have framed it better by asking him to name one Christian during the first 1000 years who did not view baptism as literally the washing of regeneration, obviously that
    is what I was getting at.

    Jamin’s comment on 1 Peter 3:21 could have been better challenged as well. “not the removal of dirt from the body” means that baptism is not a
    physical washing. On the contrary, it is where God spiritually cleans the
    individual through the Holy Spirit.

    Believers Baptism makes the act of baptism man-centered, it is man’s first
    act or step of obedience, something man does.

    Where as in the Orthodox view it is all God centered, it is all about what God does. It is a gift God gives us within the life of the Church. Not something we do but something we receive. God promises the gift of the
    Holy Spirit to those that are baptized. And by faith we believe what God says he will do. God provides the minister, God provides the water, God
    provides the words “father, son, & holy spirit”, God does the washing. God
    raises us to new life. It is all about God.

    Where as the evangelical view is God first saves and regenerates us, and then we respond by later being baptized out of obedience to His command.
    That makes it something we do, not something He does.

    Can you see the difference??

  2. Finally finished up the debate, and sorry to say this, but if I didn’t know better, I’d swear Jamin was an Arminian. An infant can’t have faith? Say what? Isn’t faith something God works in the heart, not something the person musters up when they reach a certain age? And, I think that final question was quite relevant. How are infants saved? Is Jamin saying there is a different mechanism than the work of Christ, or is he saying no infants (or children) are saved until reach an ‘age of accountability’ and then profess Christ? And doesn’t this shift things from God’s work to man’s decision?

    He kind of blew it off, saying God doesn’t owe infants salvation. Well, of course not… did anyone say that? (This seems to stem from what I heard… that Jamin didn’t seem to understand (or listen to) Laurent’s position. Jamin kept saying Laurent believed children didn’t have to repent, and Laurent, over and over, stated that he did believe children had to repent.) But really, how are they saved? If they are saved, are they not saved by God applying Christ’s work to them in some manner? Why should we think that is any different, then, from the work God performs on the adult heart?

  3. I think that Hubner at one point asked if any children were circumcised for no other reason than their parents were believers. How about Isaac and Ishmael…?

  4. Pingback: Listen to Fr Laurent’s radio debate on Infant Baptism - St Innocent Orthodox Christian Church (Eureka)

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