Doug Wilson and Covenant Objectivity

 By Jeffrey Stivason - Posted at Place for Truth:

The Federal Vision speaks a lot about the objectivity of the covenant. What does that mean? Doug Wilson puts it somewhat crassly when he says, “It can be photographed and fingerprinted.”[1] For Wilson, the fingerprint is baptism.[2] Baptism, though an external sign, is like that of circumcision. It demonstrates membership. Now, the question everyone ought to be asking is the obvious. Is baptism the access point? In other words, does Wilson hold to baptismal regeneration? The answer is yes and no. We should not be surprised. What is more, this won’t be the last time we see this kind of language game being played by Wilson.

So, what does Wilson mean? Well, he does not mean that the baptismal font is like a big syringe filled with water that has been zapped from on high. Wilson is clear on this. He says, “We deny any ex opere operato efficacy to the waters of baptism.”[3] And yet, one wonders how he can say, “Contrary to Warfield, baptism is efficacious.”[4] He even points out that the Westminster Confession teaches baptismal regeneration![5] He even quotes Randy Booth saying, “Every baptized person objectively enters into covenant with Christ, just as every man and woman who weds, objectively enters into the marriage covenant.”[6] When examined by his denomination, Wilson said in answer to the question, “Does “baptism” save?”, “Yes, baptism saves in the sense described in Scripture.”[7]

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