Better Than Thanksgiving Day Football (If You’re Me, That Is…)!

Dr. James R. White's Reformed Twin

As many of you know, and a few others may be disappointed to learn, I’m a life-long Independent Baptist (though currently a member of a Southern Baptist church, by God’s wise and inscrutable providence) who has adopted Presbyterian views. That includes the Presbyterian view of infant baptism. Ever since having adopted this view, in the interests of “givning God a chance” to “make my life easier,” I’ve from time to time done a little more reading on the case for believer’s baptism (aka, credobaptism) as opposed to the Reformed doctrine of infant baptism (aka, paedobaptism). I’ve done so with an open mind, knowing that I’m not the most brilliant theologian in the world, being, after all, an IFB Bible college drop-out. I may just want to believe in paedobaptism, because there’s so much I disagree with (and/or dislike) about the Baptist tradition, so if I’m going to expect my wife and kids to adopt the Reformed view of paedobaptism (which they’ve yet to do, again in God’s wise and inscrutable and gracious wisdom), I’d better be right. So far, every time I’ve entered into this debate with an open mind, I find myself

Dr. R. Scott Clark's Baptist Twin

becoming more and more thoroughly convinced that the Reformed view of paedobaptism is the more biblically consistent view. But, I keep reminding myself, I’ve yet to listen to one of my favorite Reformed Baptists, Dr. James White, debate the subject. Dr. White is one of the more relentless, aggressive and capable apologists and debaters I’ve ever seen. If anyone could dissuade me from the case for paedobaptism, it would likely be him.

It looks like I may soon get my chance.

I just finished reading Dr. James White’s post, entitled “R. Scott Clark and ‘Reformed,'” and Dr. Clark’s response, “Post-Thanksgiving Cartoons: Reply to James White.” White attempted to demonstrate the fallacy of Clark’s refusal to accept Baptists under the umbrella “Reformed” on the basis of his contention that paedobaptism is essential to being Reformed. Naturally, White believes for obvious reasons that he’s more thoroughly Reformed than his Presbyterian and Continental Reformed brethren. Clark believes Baptists may have an affinity for “the five heads of doctrine of the Synod of Dort” (popularly known as the five points of Calvinism), but denies they’re Reformed. For the record, having heard Dr. Clark’s teaching and gotten a glimpse of his personality from interviews and his Facebook page (for example, his status update at one point yesterday read, “I’m not passive-aggressive, I’m just aggressive”), leads me to believe that Dr. R. Scott Clark may just be Dr. James R. White’s Reformed twin (I’ve always contended that my friend, Gage Browning, is White’s Presbyterian twin–there is a difference). It’s all about personality and hairdo. I guess that would make Gage Dr. Clark’s Presbyterian twin, too–but I digress.

Anyway, having read both of these esteemed theologians’ posts, I just wanted to put out there that my appetite is officially whetted for a new debate on credobaptism versus paedobaptism between Drs. James R. White and R. Scott Clark. Who’s with me?

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6 responses

  1. Here’s audio from two debates from 1999 and 2008

    http://wp.me/p9sU5-1Ad

    1. Thanks, Dr. Clark! Hope you weren’t offended by my tongue-in-cheek presentation. Just a little wishful thinking on my part.

  2. Hi – Thanks for the post. I went through the same thing this past summer. I studied the issue at length and came back a stronger Reformed Baptist. Although it helped me to understand the Presybterian position better, I hold to the Baptist being more thoroughly reformed. As James White has said in his last debate on this topic, it comes down to hermeneutics. We must be consistent. But I’m up for the two of them to debate. I’m sure both would be the better for it, and so would we.

    1. With Dr. Clark’s posting of a couple of previous debates on baptism involving his colleagues, it looks like my dream debate between them will never materialize.

      As for hermeneutics, did you catch what Dr. Clark said? Apparently, what Dr. White calls “consistent” hermeneutics, Dr. Clark would call a departure from and rejection of Reformed hermeneutics. See? This is why we just gotta get these guys in a room together someday! 🙂

  3. http://inthylight.wordpress.com/2006/12/08/james-white-and-bill-shishko-infant-baptism-debate-mp3s/

    As a result of this exchange between White and Clark, the above link has surfaced featuring a debate on baptism James White participated in a few years ago. I’ve posted it here in case any of my readers would like to check it out, but also to save the link so I can listen to it myself when I get time.

  4. […] James White’s post here and R. Scott’s Clark post here. Thanks to Captain Headknowledge for the heads-up. Share […]

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