Antipaedobaptism in the thought of John Tombes Mike Renihan


Published: 2001


261 pages


Antipaedobaptism in the thought of John Tombes  by  Mike Renihan

Antipaedobaptism in the thought of John Tombes by Mike Renihan
2001 | Hardcover | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, RTF | 261 pages | ISBN: | 4.47 Mb

The dissertation of Dr. Mike Renihan for his PhD at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, this work examines the writings of John Tombes, an Anglican, Puritan Divine who opposed the widespread practice of paedobaptism in 17th century England. This work examines his arguments and his interactions with the Puritans of his day on the matter. It is an important work at a number of levels.

Specifically, I found it fascinating that Baptist Covenant Theology as articulated in the London Baptist Confession of 1689 was present in Reformed/Protestant thinking long before 1689, and even before the Westminster Confession of Faith. Additionally, it stands as an example of antipaedobaptism which was separate and distinct from the anabaptists and their host of errors.

But in this work, Renihan demonstrates how Tombes uses the scholastic method of his time to demonstrate the fallacies upon which infant baptism is built. Tombes attacks the practice from many directions, organized into the four categories of exegetical, theological, historical, and practical. Renihan also includes many of the interactions and responses against Tombes by the other divines. And lastly, and probably most helpfully, Renihan includes Tombes catechism on the matter, written for those who have trouble wading through the difficult syllogisms.

Personally, I am thankful for the book because it demonstrates that: the covenant of grace as articulated in the WCF cannot be supported exegetically- the practice of infant baptism was seen by Tombes as one area left untouched by the reformation, akin to other acts of will worship and Old Testament types/shadows that the Roman Church had erroneously adapted to the New Covenant- that the practice of paedobaptism was not the practice of the ancient church fathers- that the practice of paedobaptism in relation to the infants inclusion in the covenant was not formulated until the 16th century (baptismal regeneration being the reason for the practice up until then)- and many other arguments from Tombes which interact with common proof texts and theological reasoning from paedobaptists.

Without a doubt, Tombes is worthy of careful consideration. For if nothing else, he was relentlessly attacked for his views, and sacrificed his livelihood many times because he would not compromise with the prevailing thought of his day, which he was convinced violated scripture.

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