Outline - Pierre Ch. Marcel - The Biblical Doctrine of Infant Baptism (PDF)

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This book is a French Calvinist's defense for the Reformed practice of infant baptism. I think that most "truly Reformed" men in our day would say that Marcel's treatment is a fair representation of Calvinism's position on the doctrine? (Were this not the case, I doubt that the late Dr. Philip Edgumbe Hughes of Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia) would have given so much of his time to do the work of translating it.)

The author, after discussing his method, lays out the plan of the book (p. 24):

  1. New Testament affirmations relative to the sacraments
  2. Sacraments have reference to Jesus Christ, their central content
  3. Christ the Executor, Mediator of the promise of redemption by His sacrifice; reason for His coming: the covenant of grace
  4. Covenant of grace as unique in both Testaments; sacraments are all sacraments of the covenant
  5. The Consequences of the covenant of grace
  6. What is the doctrine of baptism as founded on the covenant of grace? Theological justification for baptizing infants of the covenant
  7. Reply to some objections

Anyone looking into the Reformed view of paedobaptism would start, of course, with Calvin's Institutes. But if after that, a person was looking for quality secondary sources, I think two in particular stand out: first, this work by Marcel and second the excellent short treatment, Children of Promise by Reformed Anglican professor (Fuller Theological Seminary) Dr. Geoffrey Bromiley, patristics scholar, translator of Barth's Church Dogmatics and of Kittel. (I will overlook the fact that the great Dr. Bromiley earlier wrote a book, Sacramental Teaching and Practice in the Reformation Churches (Eerdmans, 1957) and it was completely without a reference to the Lutherans - not even a footnote!)
-Dr. Rosenbladt

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