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Cross-Examination: Infant Baptism

There are Christians who interpret the Bible in light of a basic, covenantal continuity between the Old and New Testaments. Other believers make a dispensational discontinuity between the Old and New Testaments their main principle of interpretation. These different orientations result in conflicting systems of theology, as we have seen, but they also lead to very specific, practical differences in living out the Christian life.

In particular, the divergence between covenantal and non-covenantal approaches to Scripture comes to concrete expression in their differing views of the children of adult converts to the faith. Both schools of thought agree that the children of Christians are conceived and born in sin, that they need to be "born again" and exercise faith in Jesus Christ for salvation. But covenantal and non-covenantal theologies disagree over the status of these children while their believing parent(s) pray for their children, nurture them, and await a Spirit-given profession of faith by them as they grow up.