The figure of Abraham creates a covenantal framework for biblical theology that allows baptism to be considered in relation to the Bible's developing story line. On this credobaptists and paedobaptists agree. I suggest, however, that reflecting on Abraham also requires baptism to be located in relation to the doctrines of Christology and anthropology, and the theology of divine agency in covenant signs, in a way which points to the validity and beauty of infant baptism. Locating baptism in this way sketches a theology of paedobaptism which has a richer view of Jesus, a more attractive understanding of creation, and a more powerful conception of what God is doing in the sacraments than is present in credobaptist theology.
Within the intra-Reformed debate over baptism, covenant theology is a crucial aspect in determining one's position. This paper argues that a proper understanding of the trajectory of the Abrahamic covenant necessitates credobaptism. In particular it explores the idea of covenant fidelity, noting the requirement and failure under the old administration, and the fulfilment in Christ as he exhausts covenant curses, and fulfils the righteous requirements. As a consequence, New Covenant children of Abraham are born of the Spirit, and trace their Abrahamic sonship through faith-union with Christ. The result is that their covenant status is sure and unbreakable.
Romans 4 remains a central text in the debate over the New Perspective on
Paul. This article locates that debate in the context of a wider discussion concerning
the place of justification in Paul’s theology before responding to a fresh reading of
Rom 4 by N. T. Wright. His proposal that Abraham’s belief in the God who justifies the
ungodly refers to God’s promise to include the Gentiles is outlined and critiqued with
the aid of Wright’s earlier and rather different readings of the chapter. In closing, the
article accounts for Abraham’s role within the argument of Romans and the place of
justification in Paul’s theology.