Can Anyone Help? On Baptism and Communion
1. Almost all Christians everywhere have agreed that only baptised Christians can share in the Eucharist / Lord’s Supper / Communion.
2. All consistent credobaptists agree that “infant baptism” is not actually baptism, but the sprinkling of a baby who does not yet believe the gospel.
3. Most of us would feel rather ridiculous if we excluded Augustine, Calvin or Wesley from the Eucharist / Lord’s Supper / Communion in our church. (To be fair, Russell Moore makes a valiant case for it here, but I just can’t go there).
All three of those appear defensible on their own terms, at least to me. But collectively, they leave us in a muddle. If I apply #1 and #2, then I end up excluding Calvin from sharing the Lord’s Supper with me, against #3. If I agree with #3, and admit Calvin (or a modern paedobaptist of whose Christian faith I am certain - Tim Keller, say) to the Lord’s Supper in my church, then I am either rejecting #1 or #2. If I reject #2, then I am no longer a consistent credobaptist. If I reject #1, then I am both somewhat sectarian, and I am also effectively undermining the importance of baptism, by denying its significance as an initiatory rite (which also then makes me an inconsistent credobaptist).
Who will deliver me from this ecclesiologico-sacramental mess?