Articles on Paedocommunion from a Reformed PerspectiveCovenant Theology - God's Master Plan to Give His Son Jesus Christ a Bride
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Check out these books on Covenant Theology.
When dealing with Covenant Theology “simple” is a good thing. After the Bible, this work is the FIRST that you should read, or one that you should introduce to a friend if they are struggling with covenant concepts.
There is no better succinct, concise, precise and exegetically irrefutable work on infant baptism than Harrison’s work. It is not just about baptism – it’s about infant inclusion in the covenant of grace. It’s about church membership.
Paedocommunion Is Not Reformed (or a Biblical Christian Practice)
1. Infant Baptism signifies regeneration (not conversion).
2. One’s first communion signifies conversion (not regeneration).
3. Eucharist replaces the Passover (but not circumcision).
4. The 1st-century B.C. Hebrew Essenes (and even the Pharisees), like the Karaites till today, restricted their Passovers to their (post-)adolescent males after prior catechization terminating in their Bar Mitzvah not before age 13 (cf. Prov. 22:6‘s chanoch with Luke 2:40-47 and 22:1-20).
5. No females nor any preteenagers ever partook of the Passover until it was in this way deformed by Post-Christian Liberal Judaism (+/- 200 A.D.).
6. There is absolutely no trace whatsoever of peidocommunionism in patristic writings but only in pagan sources prior to 250 A.D. (See Matthew Winzer’s article below for a solid treatment of the Patristics on this issue).
7. Novel paedocommunionism is a ritualistic heterodoxy of the “Eastern Orthodox” and kindred denominations quite opposed to truly-orthodox Reformed Theology.
8. The practice of paedocommunionism abolishes the need first of catechization and then of profession of one´s faith before one´s own very first manducation at the sacrament.
9. Paedocommunionism ultimately leads to an uncatechized Church (which Calvin says cannot long continue without catechizing).
10. Calvin in his Institutes (IV:16:30) accordingly concludes against the Anabaptists: “They object that there is not greater reason for admitting infants to Baptism than to the Lord´s Supper ““ to which, however, there are never admitted…. The Supper is intended for those of riper years, who, having passed…infancy, are fit to bear solid food…. They cannot partake worthily without being able duly to discern the sanctity of the Lord´s body. Why should we stretch out poison instead of vivifying food to our young children? … Circumcision, which as is well known corresponds to our Baptism, was intended for infants. But the Passover for which the Supper is substituted…was duly eaten only by those who were of an age sufficient to ask the meaning of it (Exod. 12:26). Had these men the least particle of soundness in their brain, would they thus be blind as to a matter so very clear and obvious?”
History on it is Exceedingly Thin
History behind this is EXCEEDINGLY thin in the early church (See Winzer’s Article Linked Below).
There is nothing said about this in any documents previous to 250 AD.
Cyprian makes an allusion to it (ANF 5:444) (C. 250 AD).
Augustine makes a vague allusion about the “table” for infants. (Works, trans. Edmund Hill, ed. John E. Rotelle, 11 vols. Part III-Sermons. (New Rochelle, New York: New City Press, 1992), 5:261).
Augustine says, “Why is the blood…ministered that the little ones may drink.”
How “little” is little? From this one and the above, it could be that he means infants.
In the Constitution of the Holy Apostles, 8:2:12, there is an allusion to children partaking when it gives an order and “then the children” are to come. how young or old? No mention is made. Catechumens could certainly still be children. If I had a 15 year old, a 14 year old, and a 13 year old, all professing and partaking, they would in fact be “my children.”
Leo the Great also says, “Those who can remember that they used to go to church with their parents can remember whether they received what used to be given to their parents.” Letter, CLXVII, Q 17.
Again, a bit vague. How old, how young?
Its really a straining of the early church to get anything substantial.
One must also remember that the early Church Fathers did not exegete 1 Cor. 11 in the same way that present day Paedocommunionists do in respect to self-examination.
Closed communion, also, obliterates paedocommunion since the biblical view of this sacrament is intended to purify the individual, church and state. But then that is going to destroy “sorta closed communion” and “open communion.”
Paedocommunion on the Puritanboard with some notes by C. Matthew McMahon
A Summary Against Paedocommunion by Dr. Nigel Lee
Paedocommunionism vs. Protestantism by Dr. Nigel Lee
A Catechism for Converting Paedocommunionists by Dr. Nigel Lee
What Mean Ye, by Rev. Richard Bacon
How Hostile is Paedocommunion to the Westminster Standards? by Rev. Lane Keister
Paedocommunion at the Puritanboard Thread 2
The True History of Paedocommunion by Rev. Matthew WInzer
Children at the Table: A Summary Critique of Paedocommunion
Children at the Lord’s Table, by Cornel Venema
Arguments Against Paedocommunion by Peter Dietsch
Paedocommunion: A Biblical Examination by Brian Schwertley
A Communion Catechism by John Craig (1592)
The Puritans made many posters, even in their day, to aid church members in understanding Scriptural truth. I created this new poster to cover the Covenant of Redemption, Covenant of Works and Covenant of Grace.
Check Out these Books on Covenant Theology
Presumptive Regeneration, or, the Baptismal Regeneration of Elect Infants by Cornelius Burges (1589-1665)
A Discourse on Covenant Theology and Infant Baptism by Cuthbert Sydenham (1622-1654)
Infant Baptism of Christ’s Appointment by Samuel Petto (1624-1711)
Covenant Holiness and Infant Baptism by Thomas Blake (1597-1657)
The Manifold Wisdom of God Seen in Covenant Theology by George Walker (1581-1651)
The Covenant of God by Thomas Blake (1597-1657)
A Chain of Theological Principles by John Arrowsmith (1602-1659)
The Covenant of Life Opened by Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661)
The Covenant of Grace Opened by Thomas Hooker (1586-1647)
The Covenant of Redemption by Samuel Willard (1640-1707)
The Covenant of Works and the Covenant of Grace by Edmund Calamy (1600-1666)
The Doctrine and Practice of Infant Baptism by John Brinsley (1600-1665)
God’s Covenant and Our Duty By Samuel Willard (1640-1707)
God’s Glory in Man’s Happiness by Francis Taylor (1589-1656)
Infant Baptism God’s Ordinance by Michael Harrison (1640-1729)
Jesus Christ God’s Shepherd by William Strong (d. 1654)