Blog 213: 4.14.17 - 4.15.22
Various problems are now dealt with: those baptized (infants) often wait many years before repentance is seen. Does this invalidate the baptism? No, "This promise was offered to us in baptism; therefore, let us embrace it by faith." Is there not an example of re-baptism in the case of the Ephesians in Acts 19:2-7 who knew only the baptism of John? No, conscious of giving ground on re-baptism (perhaps with Anabaptists in his sights), Calvin argues that John's disciples in Ephesus were not re-baptized with water but received, in addition to John's baptism, the laying on of hands and the reception of the Holy Spirit that followed. The baptism is synonymous with the expression, "laid his hands upon them." What of the addition of rituals to the simple formula of baptism as described in the New Testament? These he variously describes as "alien hodgepodge," "grosser mockeries," "theatrical pomp," and "outlandish pollution." What about "emergency baptisms" (an infant who may expire before a minister can be found)? To administer (lay) baptism in such circumstances is to suggest that without it, all are lost. This would be a worse condition than "under the law" for at least in the Old Testament it was held that the promise was sufficient before the eighth day and the ritual of circumcision (Gen. 17:7).
And may women baptize in any circumstance (the example of Zipporah is sometimes upheld). Calvin's answer? No!