Children and Communion
Children and Communion
A Presuppositional Analysis of 14 Views
About the Book
Why do Christians read the same Bible passages and come to opposite conclusions about what they mean? Why can one scholar look at Exodus 12 and consider it settled that only adults partook of Passover while another scholar concludes that even newborn babies partook? Why are there 14 different views of what worthy participation means? Godly saints are often mystified why others don't see "clear" Scriptures the way they do.
Pastor Kayser demonstrates how our perspectives on these Scriptures rest on different presuppositions that we bring to the text, and how this leads to talking past one another. He lays out the presuppositions behind the dominant views of communion and shows that our comprehension of the Regulative Principle of Worship drives our understanding of the Lord's Table. He explores the relevant biblical terms for children and their ages, and exegetes Exodus 12 and 1 Corinthians 10-11. Throughout the book, Pastor Kayser calls Christians to handle the communion discussion with charity and respect and shows that the "young credo communion" view can account for all of the strongest arguments put forth by the paedocommunion and the mature communion positions without any of the exegetical problems of either side.
Introduction: In All Things Charity
- Why historical theology might give us charity among the brethren
- Evidence from the earliest fathers for credo-communion
- My own personal pilgrimage has been from paedo-communion to young credo-communion
- Books and articles consulted in this study
- 1. Presuppositions Do Affect Exegesis
2. Presuppositional Narrowing of the Field from 14 to 1
- Fourteen Perspectives on Communion
- Seven Principles Where There Is Enough Agreement That the Fourteen Can Be Grouped into Three
- The Strongest Arguments of Each Group
- How young-credocommunion solves the impasse between paedo-communion and mature-communion
- Are we robbing our children of their covenantal heritage?
3. Allowing the Bible to Define Its Terms
- yeled (יֶלֶד) — newly born baby. Used 495x.
- yonek (יוֹנֵק) — a suckling or nursing child (birth to 12 months). Used 18 times.
- olel (עוֹלֵל) — nursing child that also eats some solids (12 months up to 3 years). Used 20 times.
- gamul (גמל) — a completely weaned child (3 years). Used of a weaned child only 8 times.
- taph (טַף) — a child that still clings to its mother (3-6 years old). Occurs 43 times.
- elem (2x) or the feminine form almah (7x) — a child firming up (7 to teen years).
- na’ar (נַעַר) — youth that are starting to gain some independence (teens up to 19). נַעַר occurs 256x; נֹעַר 4x; נַעֲרָה 76x; נַעֲרָה 1x; total 337 x.
- bachur (44x) — a ripened one; young warrior ready to marry and the feminine equivalent, bethulah (50x) — a young woman who is a virgin just prior to marriage. Used 94 times in the Bible.
- ish and ishah — adult men and women (usually, who are married). Occurs 3044 times.
- 4. The Regulative Principle of Worship Violated
5. Presuppositions of Various Paedo-Communionists
- Presuppositions given by Tim Gallant
- Presuppositions of the Faith Formulation Committee of the CRC
- Presuppositions given by Ray Sutton
- Other miscellaneous paedo-communion presuppositions
6. Presuppositions of Various Mature-Communionists
- Presuppositions of Leonard Coppes
- Presuppositions of Francis Nigel Lee
- Richard Bacon
7. Presuppositions of My Young Credo-communion View
- The Regulative Principle of Worship must be foundational.
- Everyone has the burden of proof.
- Historical Theology assumes progress on doctrine.
- All the Old Testament sacramental meals stand behind the Lord’s Table.
- Other Passover passages should be allowed to interpret Exodus 12 — especially when godly scholars come to such varied conclusions on that chapter.
- The confessional distinction between the “invisible church” and the “visible church” is a critical distinction for properly understanding the doctrine of communion.
- Children were not circumcised because they were spiritually in the covenant; they were circumcised because they were children of parents who professed faith.
- Children were not circumcised in the Old Testament on the basis of presumed regeneration.
- Children were not circumcised in the Old Testament on the basis of presumed election.
- Neither circumcision in the Old Testament nor baptism in the New Testament regenerated its recipients.
- Non-communicants are hugely benefited by not being admitted to the Table.
- 1 Corinthians 10:1-4 should not be interpreted in isolation from its context.
- If lack of faith and faithfulness at communion brings judgment (previous presupposition), then babies will not benefit from partaking.
- Almost all viewpoints on communion believe that what admits to the table is “the covenant” plus something else. It is the nature of that something else that must be exegetically determined.
- Separation of family, church, and state did not happen until the time of Moses.
8. The Reformed Creeds are Unanimous on Communion
- A listing of 51 Reformed Creeds that advocate credo-communion
- Areas of the Westminster Standards that one should take exception to if he does not hold to credo-communion
9. Intersection of Other Doctrines with Communion
- The difficulty of convincing others of the significance of this subject — not all see the logical consequences of theological moves
- Potential implications of at least some paedo-communion statements
- Mild consequences of two errors held to by some in both camps
- Potential implications of at least some adult-communion statements
10. Verse-by-Verse Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10-11
- Paul’s first example of unworthy participation (Ex. 3:18; 5:1,3; 8:27 with 7:16; 10:9-10,24-26)
- Paul’s second example of unworthy participation from Exodus 32:1-35
- Paul’s third example of unworthy participation is from Numbers 25-26
- Paul’s fourth example of unworthy participation from Numbers 21:4-8
- Paul’s fifth example of unworthy participation from Numbers 15-16
- General applications from all Old Testament feasts
- Admonitions and rules of conduct for the Lord’s Table (1 Cor. 10:14-11:34)
- Addendum: 1 Corinthians 5:7-8
11. A Credo-Communion Commentary on Exodus 12
- Verse 1
- Verse 2
- Verse 3
- Verse 4
- Verse 5
- Verse 6
- Verse 7
- Verse 8
- Verse 9
- Verse 10
- Verse 11
- Verses 12-13
- Verse 14
- Verse 15
- Verse 16
- Verses 17-20
- Verse 21
- Verses 22-24
- Verses 26-27
- Verse 28
- Verses 29-36
- Verses 37-42 — more historical narrative
- Verse 43
- Verse 44
- Verse 45
- Verse 46
- Verse 47
- Verse 48
- Verse 49
- Verses 50-51
12. Appendix A: The Axioms of Logic in Scripture
- Definitions of terms
- A listing of the axioms of logic
- Showing these axioms to be inspired axioms/Biblical axioms/great axioms
13. Appendix B: Changes in the Office that Administered the Sacrament
- Principle #1 — We must see some continuity of office from Old Testament to New Testament
- Principle #2 — The New Testament church is identical to the synagogue system
- Principle #3 — The Old Testament church was not the temple
- Principle #4 — Prior to Moses, the pastoral office was ordinarily found in the firstborn son. The concept of firstborn is the foundation for the pastoral office.
- Principle #5 — Under Moses, God gave the pastoral office of the firstborn to the Levites. The Levites simply stood for the eldest in the family. Thus, the various responsibilities of service and offices of authority that the eldest would have were ordinarily carried out by the Levites.
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