B. B. Warfield's "Nutshell" Argument for Infant Baptism

Today, November 5, 2018, is the 167th anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield, the masterful theologian of Princeton Theological Seminary. In honor of his birth we offer this gem of a quote on the topic of infant baptism, taken from his article, “The Polemics of Infant Baptism,” found in Volume 9 of his Works, pp. 389-408 (this article was originally printed in The Presbyterian Quarterly, Volume 13, 1899, pp. 313-334).

Having rightly asserted, “According as is our doctrine of the Church, so will be our doctrine of the Subjects of Baptism” (9:389), Warfield summarizes the Presbyterian position in this way:

So long as it remains true that Paul represents the Church of the Living God to be one, founded on one covenant (which the law could not set aside) from Abraham to today, so long it remains true that the promise is to us and our children and that the members of the visible Church consist of believers and their children - all of whom have a right to all the ordinances of the visible Church, each in its appointed season. The argument in a nutshell is simply this: God established His Church in the days of Abraham and put children into it. They must remain there until He puts them out. He has nowhere put them out. They are still then members of His Church and as such entitled to its ordinance. Among these ordinances is baptism, which standing in similar place in the New Dispensation to circumcision in the Old, is like it to be given to children.

And we might rightly append, “Q. E. D.”