(Due to computer problems, I will not publish the Best Blogs Digest for Feb. Please check back in March.)

By Greg Gibson

Here’s some good news in Reformed Covenant Theology circles. Dr. Gary Crampton, seminary professor and author, has changed his view from paedobaptism to credobaptism. Praise God for Gary’s willingness to follow Christ wherever He leads, whatever the cost.

However, Crampton’s motive for changing is an inconsistently applied New Testament hermeneutic. Paedobaptist Covenant theology applies a New Testament hermeneutic to eschatology, but an Old Testament hermeneutic to ecclesiology and nomology. Reformed Baptist Covenant Theology applies a New Testament hermeneutic to eschatology and ecclessiology, but an Old Testament hermeneutic to nomology. New Covenant Theology is the only system that applies a consistent, New Testament hermeneutic to eschatology, ecclesiology, and nomology.

Here are some excerpts from Rich Barcellos’ interview with Crampton…

    Crampton: I am a Reformed Baptist, and an advocate of the teachings found in the London Baptist Confession of 1689 and the Reformed Baptist Shorter Catechism…I have been struggling with the matter of paedobaptism versus credobaptism for almost twenty years.

    Barcellos: What are some of the main problems you encountered with paedobaptism that caused you to keep studying?

    Crampton: There were several issues that bothered me about the doctrine of paedobaptism. I will mention only one, and that is…

GG: Crampton’s answers are continued on the left below, and my edited comments are in [brackets] on the right…

Reformed Baptist Covenant Theology:

…there is simply no text in the New Testament (NT) wherein there is any mention of the baptism of infants. This is admitted by some of the finest paedobaptist theologians that have written on the subject. This means, as admitted and taught by these same paedobaptist theologians, that we must go back to the Old Testament (OT) to establish the doctrine. When it comes to the other NT sacrament of the Lord’s supper, however, the paedobaptist theologians do not apply the same hermeneutic principle. That is, the recipients of the Lord’s supper are determined by the NT teaching rather than the OT teaching. The inconsistency here is glaring.

New Covenant Theology:


…there is simply no text in the New Testament (NT) wherein there is any mention of the [Sabbath changed from Saturday to Sunday, and the whole Decalogue binding on New Covenant Jewish and Gentile believers.] This is admitted by some of the finest [apostolic fathers] that have written on the subject. This means, as admitted and taught by these same [Covenant] theologians, that we must go back to the Old Testament (OT) to establish the doctrine. When it comes to the other NT [doctrine of eschatology], however, the [Covenant] theologians do not apply the same hermeneutic principle. That is, the recipients of the [promised blessing to Abraham] are determined by the NT teaching rather than the OT teaching. The inconsistency here is glaring.

Another problem here is that the OT does not mention baptism of infants at all. What this hermeneutic assumes is that the Abrahamic covenant, wherein the male infants were circumcised, is still binding on the NT church on virtually a one-to-one basis, and therefore the infants of believers should be baptized. Another problem here is that the OT does not mention [Adam – the patriarchs obeying the Sabbath, and the Sabbath given to Gentiles] at all. What this hermeneutic assumes is that the [whole Decalogue including the Sabbath] is still binding on the NT church on virtually a one-to-one basis, and therefore [Gentile believers should keep the Sabbath.]

Again, I’m thankful that Dr. Crampton has taken a small step in the right direction. Now I’d like to challenge him and Reformed Covenant Theologians to come all the way out of the Old Covenant and fully into the New Covenant. It’s a better covenant.

Paedobaptist Reformed Covenant Theology applies an inconsistent, Old Testament – New Testament hermeneutic resulting in a new covenant, new priest, new sacrifice, new temple, new king, new kingdom, new land, but a partially old and new people of God, and partially old and new law.

Reformed Baptist Covenant Theology applies an inconsistent, Old Testament – New Testament hermeneutic resulting in a new covenant, new priest, new sacrifice, new temple, new king, new kingdom, new land, new people of God, but a partially old and new law.

New Covenant Theology applies a consistent, New Testament hermeneutic resulting in a new covenant, new priest, new sacrifice, new temple, new king, new kingdom, new land, new people of God, and new law: “…teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you” (Mt. 28:20). New Covenant Theology is the only system where the New Testament consistently inteprets the Old Testament.

Reformed Covenant Theology’s Inconsistent Hermeneutic | 2010 | Covenant Theology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments (1)

One Response to “Reformed Covenant Theology’s Inconsistent Hermeneutic”

  1. That is great. Complete sanctification really includes the mind.And it gets harder everyday to switch views.

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