How Dale Partridge Embraced Calvinism, Postmillennialism, And Infant Baptism

by Dale Partridge

As a pastor and public figure, evolving theology can sometimes feel like a dance routine, where those under your ministry are expecting a graceful waltz, but occasionally you break out unexpected moves. To some, it can look erratic and unplanned when, in reality, it’s simply an exciting addition to your step arrangement.

I say that because recently, a Christian commentator accused me of making “big theological shifts” at “lightning speed.” While I do have fancy footwork on the dance floor, when it comes to my theology, I’m certainly not making uncalculated moves. In other words, we must recognize that outside perspectives don’t always reflect reality. Just because something may appear “quick” based on someone’s observation doesn’t mean that the necessary work hasn’t been diligently carried out to arrive at a particular theological position.

Furthermore, “pace” is relative. What may seem like a quick shift to one person may be moderate or even slow to another. For example, let’s consider the world of technology. A new smartphone model released within a year might be seen as a rapid progression by consumers. However, for engineers and designers who have spent countless hours developing and refining the device, that timeframe could be considered a moderate or even a lengthy process. The perception of speed is often influenced by our individual knowledge, involvement, and perspective within a particular field or subject matter.

Having said that, I do admit there is such a thing as “quick” theological shifts. These are shifts that are made without the necessary components of proper study, meditation, prayer, and discourse. I firmly believe that no serious pastor or theologian aims for hasty doctrinal development, as it undermines the integrity and depth of theological understanding. This principle holds true for my own ministry, and I understand that providing some perspective could offer reassurance to those concerned about the shifts I’ve made in recent years.

Theological Transition with a Crowd

I did not have the privilege of growing up in a Christian household, and my exposure to church was limited to a handful of Sundays during my childhood. It wasn’t until I turned 20 that I began attending church, but even then, I had not yet truly encountered Christ. For nearly eight years, I lived as an unregenerate Christian moralist, lacking a biblical understanding of sin, faith, and the transformative power of the Gospel. If you are interested in hearing my complete testimony, you can find it detailed here.

Furthermore, it is important to note that my journey into pastoral ministry took a unique path. Prior to becoming a pastor, I had garnered a significant following on social media as an influencer in the business world. In that arena, success was often measured by speed, marketing prowess, and flashy achievements.

In 2013, I was leading a company with nearly 50 employees in Orange County, where I graced the cover of Entrepreneur Magazine, authored a Wall Street Bestselling Book, and even had the honor of being invited by Mark Zuckerberg’s office to speak at the 10th anniversary of Facebook addressing all 8,000 employees. I don’t say this to brag but to give those who follow my ministry some historical perspective. By societal standards, I was deemed “successful.” These accomplishments formed the core of my platform, and hundreds of thousands of people followed my writings, podcasts, and social media accounts for precisely those reasons.

However, in 2016, I began immersing myself more diligently in studying the Scriptures, delivering sermons at my local church, and feeling a growing desire for pastoral ministry. It was during this time that I started recognizing the inherent conflict between what society deems success and how the Bible defines it. I even wrote a book on the subject titled “Saved from Success,” which further fueled my journey toward pastoral ministry.

By 2017, I made the decision to sell my companies, invest in real estate, enroll in seminary, and fully commit myself to the vocation of the Gospel. This transition represented a significant shift in my life as I redirected my focus from worldly achievements to the pursuit of serving God and His people in a pastoral capacity.

Due to my existing platform, I found myself with a theological influence that surpassed many others with more time in that space, even those who were far more qualified. It became evident that my level of influence in this space exceeded my pastoral character, spiritual maturity, and theological comprehension. Unlike some pastors who had the opportunity to establish their theology before gaining significant influence, I had to develop my doctrine and convictions in the presence of a crowd. This meant that my theological shifts not only occurred at a pace that was uncommon for pastors with similar platforms but also unfolded publicly for all to witness. Consequently, some who didn’t understand the freshman nature of my theological journey viewed my developments as hasty or even radical.

I say all that because I want people to see that my transitions were typical for the average Christian but unexpected for a Christian with as much influence as me. For example, if a pastor in a small town were to transition from Dispensationalism to Amillennialism, it might not cause much disruption. However, if someone like John MacArthur were to shift from Dispensationalism to Amillennialism, it would undoubtedly send shockwaves throughout Western Christendom. I want to clarify that I am by no means comparing myself to the level of influence held by Dr. MacArthur; I am simply using him as an example to illustrate my point.

It is a general principle that the greater the influence one has, the greater the need for stability.

When someone possesses a platform of influence, even small shifts in their beliefs can potentially have significant impacts and repercussions.

I want to acknowledge that the past six years may have appeared unsettled to those followers who were unaware of the state of my theological journey. That said, I want to assure you that each theological shift I have experienced has strictly been the result of a growing understanding of God’s Word and was formed by an extensive and thorough process of research, study, and sincere prayer, as you will see later in this post. Furthermore, each shift was within the bounds of evangelical orthodoxy and should not be a cause for division or doctrinal concern.

Fostering Stability Amidst Theological Transition

Some have argued that I should have stepped back from having such influence while I was still establishing my theological positions. Others suggested that I should have been more cautious in sharing my new convictions so quickly. However, I find both of these arguments unhelpful and, in some cases, possibly requests of sin. Let me explain.

By God’s providence, I have been granted a platform, and I believe it is my responsibility to steward that influence to the glory of God. While it may seem noble to step away from my platform to focus on establishing my doctrine, it raises the question: where do I draw the line? At what point can I confidently say, “Now my theology is completely developed”? It is important to note that throughout my entire process of developing secondary doctrines such as soteriology, sacramentology, eschatology, and ecclesiology, I have consistently preached a sound biblical Gospel. Stepping away from my platform would mean relinquishing the opportunity to impact others through the Gospel I so passionately preach.

In addition, I want to address the argument against speaking too quickly about new theological convictions. I understand the concern behind this advice, and there is some merit to it. However, once a conviction has been established, it becomes equally risky to allow people, including donors, supporters, church members, and others, to believe you hold one belief while you actually hold another. Therefore, it is essential to take the necessary journey to explore and solidify a new theological position. However, once that conviction has been settled, it must be communicated openly, especially for public figures like myself.

This became evident in my recent experience during the research and writing of my book, “A Cover for Glory: A Biblical Defense for Headcoverings.” Prior to writing this book, I held a stance that leaned towards either hard complementarianism or a softer biblical patriarchal view. I was comfortable inviting women to teach theology or biblical studies at our ministry, and I would allow a woman to lead worship at our church or host Bible studies for the ladies in our congregation. However, after engaging in extensive research for five months, my views shifted decisively toward biblical patriarchy. This sparked a conversation within our local church about whether women should teach theology to other women. I chose to address this question publicly through a three-part series that ignited intense discussions on the social media and even led to several Christian women expressing their disdain towards me.

Within a few days of my series release, influential critics disregarded my argument and, instead, attacked me for the inconsistencies between my previous beliefs six months prior and my current stance.

But I pose this question: What was I expected to do? Should I have concealed my new conviction? Should I have refrained from upholding the position clearly taught in the book I recently released? Certainly not. It is my duty to speak what I sincerely believe to be true and to remain faithful to those convictions.

Hence, it is evident that the majority of critiques directed toward my theological journey stem from individuals projecting their personal preferences, often lacking the necessary context or willingness to thoroughly consider the implications of their requests.

Lastly, I do want to emphasize that I have arrived at a place of settled conviction in my doctrine and theology. Specifically, I align myself with Calvinism, Postmillennialism, and Presbyterianism, as well as doctrines like biblical patriarchy and general equity theonomy. It is important for those who follow my ministry to understand that I am also confessional. This means that I have willingly bound myself not only to Scripture but also to a specific interpretation of the Scriptures.

In particular, I have made a resolute commitment, personally, publicly, and as the pastor of our church, to substantially affirm the doctrine outlined in the Westminster Confession of Faith. This confession is shared by renowned figures such as the Puritans, Jonathan Edwards, Martyn Lloyd Jones, and R.C. Sproul. Rest assured, this position feels like home to me, as it provides a solid foundation for my theology, and I am steadfast in my commitment to remain anchored in it.

My Process For Past Theological Shifts

Over the course of the past six years, I have undergone three notable theological shifts. I feel compelled to provide my followers with a deeper understanding of each of these developments, assuring them that these shifts were not made lightly, impulsively, or without careful consideration. Below, I have provided a concise overview of theses developments, outlining the process I underwent to arrive at these changes, as well as the biblical foundations that support them.

1. Arminianism to Calvinism

Around 2015, the pastor at my church urged me to read “The Other Side of Calvinism” by Laurence Vance. This extensive 800-page polemic work aimed to challenge and refute Calvinism, presenting it as unbiblical and potentially heretical. Combine this with the writings of John Wesley, A.W. Tozer, Billy Graham, and Dr. Leighton Flowers, and I found myself strongly resistant to the soteriology of Calvinism. In fact, my book “Real Christianity: How To Be Bold for Christ in a Culture of Darkness,” originally written and published in 2018 and republished in 2019, featured a chapter titled “Eternally Secure or Relationally Contingent.” In this chapter, I opposed Calvinism and its doctrine of “Once Saved, Always Saved” while presenting arguments favoring human free will.

But looking back, God was already working on my heart regarding the Doctrines of Grace (a.k.a. Calvinism). It was towards the end of 2017 that I began delving into the writings of the Puritans. Although their works had not yet convinced me of the Doctrines of Grace, they gradually influenced my perspective on the doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints. As 2018 unfolded, I continued my studies at Western Seminary and ventured into further Calvinist writings, exploring alternative views that piqued my interest but still fell short of persuading me entirely.

By 2019, I started sensing a growing tension between my existing beliefs and the teachings of men like Charles Spurgeon, John Piper, and R.C. Sproul. However, it wasn’t until February 2020, during a road trip to California to visit John MacArthur’s church, that a sermon delivered by Dr. Mike Ricardi on the Doctrine of Union had a profound impact on me. It was as if God figuratively lifted the veil from my mind, granting me the ability to see and embrace the Doctrines of Grace as presented by those who espoused them. I meticulously detailed this transformative shift in my testimony, which you can explore further by reading it here. From that point, I read R.C. Sproul’s “Chosen by God,” Dr. Boettner’s “The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination,” John Piper’s “Five Points,” James White’s “The Potter’s Freedom,” and Charles Spurgeon’s “A Defense of Calvinism.” In addition, I consumed months worth of videos from John Piper, John MacArthur, Dr. Joel Beeke, Douglas Wilson, Paul Washer, Voddie Baucham, Alastair Begg, Mark Dever, Kevin DeYoung, and Thomas Schreiner.

I want to emphasize my transition from Arminianism to Calvinism was not sudden or erratic. It was a gradual process that began in 2017 and reached its culmination in February 2020.

This journey from Arminianism to Calvinism is not uncommon for the student of Scripture. In fact, it was George Whitfield who once remarked, “We are all born Arminians. It is grace that turns us into Calvinists.” I firmly believe that obtaining a genuine understanding of the Doctrines of Grace first requires a moderate grasp of systematic theology. Such an understanding requires ample time, God’s grace, and patient exploration, which certainly held true for my own personal journey.

Since then, I have released a handful of articles on the topic, including “The Critical Differences Between Calvinism and Arminianism” and “If God Predestines People, Why Evangelize?.” Additionally, I have released several podcasts and videos addressing topics such as “The Fallacy of Free Will,” “Do We Have Free Will?,” “Spiritual Life, Spiritual Death, and the Need to be Born Again,” and “Is Calvinism Biblical?” I was even honored to have Dr. Leighton Flowers, whom I once regarded as an authority on soteriology, critique my teachings on Calvinism.

To summarize, I am confident that my transition to Calvinism was not hasty but rather proceeded at a suitable pace. I believe the Lord graciously guided me through an extensive, multi-year exploration of both sides of the doctrinal debate. As a full-time pastor, I had the necessary time to prayerfully consider and make an informed decision on this matter.

2. Premillennialism to Postmillennialism

In the Winter of 2019, I had the privilege of visiting Doug Wilson and his ministries in Moscow, Idaho. During my visit, Doug generously dedicated several hours to spend with me, invited me to appear on his show Man Rampant, welcomed our family to their Sabbath Dinner on Saturday evening, and hosted us at his church the following Sunday. It is worth highlighting that during that period, I had not yet embraced any reformed beliefs, which highlights Doug’s openness and willingness to engage with individuals outside of his theological circle.

During our time together, Doug introduced me to the concept of Postmillennialism. Up until then, I held the default American Dispensational Premillennial view. I distinctly remember Doug expressing beliefs such as “I believe we are still in the early church” and “The Great Commission will succeed in converting much of the world.” Initially, I found these ideas to be radical and seemingly impossible. I recall discussing them with my wife that evening, feeling a sense of skepticism and finding Doug’s perspective to be quite challenging to accept.

Those discussions initiated my comprehensive exploration into eschatology, which spanned nearly three years. I embarked on this journey by immersing myself in literature, podcasts, and videos that delved into the four orthodox views: Dispensationalism, Historic Premillennialism, Amillennialism, and Postmillennialism. After my initial research and another road trip to Moscow in 2020, I made a decisive shift from Dispensationalism to Amillennialism, as I could no longer overlook the presence of the Kingdom of God in the present time.

However, my curiosity regarding the Postmillennial view persisted, even though I had not yet discovered clear biblical support for it. I recall expressing to my wife my desire to embrace Postmillennialism due to its appealing optimism, but I could not make the transition without a clear Scriptural foundation. It was at this juncture that I resolved to thoroughly investigate the doctrine over the course of one year. Throughout this process, I diligently documented nearly everything I consumed, ensuring a comprehensive record of my study materials.

Books (some only partially completed):



Passages Studied

  • 1 Corinthians 15:24-26
  • Revelation 20-21
  • Genesis 1:26
  • Isaiah 2:1-5, 42
  • Psalm 2, 22, 72, 110
  • Habakkuk 2:14
  • Matthew 28:18-20
  • Matthew 13:31-33
  • Colossians 2:15
  • Romans 4:13
  • Romans 5:12-21
  • Matthew 16:18

Throughout this in-depth study, it was R.C. Sproul’s enlightening YouTube series “The Last Days According to Jesus” that solidified my conviction of Partial Preterism. Additionally, the works of Dr. Kenneth Gentry, specifically his book “Postmillennialism Made Easy,” and David Chilton’s insightful “Paradise Restored,” played a crucial role in nudging me into the Postmillennial position.

In early 2022, seeking further clarity on certain complex issues, I arranged a Zoom call with Doug Wilson, engaging in a meaningful conversation that addressed my lingering questions. By the Spring of 2022, I officially shifted to Postmillennialism and later announced my position during an episode of Joel Webbon’s podcast, “Theology Applied.” Since then, I have delivered two lectures on Postmillennialism, “The Paralysis of Pessemistic Eschatology” and “How Christ’s Resurrection Overcomes Adam’s Fall,” as well as contributed to an Escahtology Roundtable with Dr. Sung Wook Chung, and Dr. Chris Gardner.

I want to clarify that while I do not claim to be a scholar on Postmillennialism. I have invested substantial time and effort to educate myself on this topic and feel proficient in teaching others the fundamentals of this position. Ultimately, eschatology remains a subject that deeply captivates me, and I am committed to ongoing research and diligent study to enhance my understanding and exegetical grasp of this doctrine.

3. Reformed Baptist to Presbyterian

Since my baptism in 2005, I have identified as a Baptist. For a long time, I had limited exposure to Presbyterianism and minimal understanding of paedobaptism (infant baptism), particularly until I attended Seminary. In 2020, I came across the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith and was deeply impressed by its doctrinal clarity, leading me to present it as the official confession of our ministry. Around the same time, I also studied the Westminster Confession of Faith, which is embraced by Presbyterians, along with its accompanying Shorter and Larger Catechism. I appreciated the comprehensive nature of the Westminster Confession and its form of church government, especially as I grappled with my poor experiences and frustrations with congregationalism that were supported under the 1689 Confession. However, the major stumbling block for me in fully adopting the Westminster Confession was the issue of infant baptism.

I couldn’t simply dismiss infant baptism as unbiblical, considering that most of my theological heroes were Presbyterians or at least held to paedobaptism.

Individuals like Jonathan Edwards, Thomas Watson, John Calvin, John Owen, J.C. Ryle, Charles Hodge, B.B. Warfield, Loraine Boettner, Martyn Lloyd Jones, and R.C. Sproul. All of these men were highly regarded scholars, proficient in the original languages, and renowned theologians. This led me to constantly ponder, “What do these men know that I don’t?”.

In 2021, I delved into extensive research on infant baptism, yet I found myself unconvinced. Debates like James White vs. Gregg Strawbridge and Thomas Schreiner’s book “Believer’s Baptism: Sign of the New Covenant in Christ” were very compelling for the Baptist position and left me confident in my convictions. But then there were debates like White vs. Shishko and MacArthur vs. Sproul that left me pondering and open to further exploration. In the summer of 2022, right after concluding my research on Postmillennialism, I embarked on an eight-month journey devoted to studying infant baptism and the covenant of grace. During this period, I again documented my research (seen below):

Videos and Debates:

Articles, Books, and Commentaries:

Passages Studies:

  • Exegetical Study of Colossians 2:11–12
  • Exegetical Study of Matthew 28:18-20
  • Exegetical Study of Household Baptisms and Household Faith: Acts 16:31-34; Acts 11:14; 1 Corinthians 1:16; Acts 18:8; Genesis 7:1; 
  • Exegetical Study of Acts 2:38-39
  • Exegetical Study of Genesis 12:1–4
  • Exegetical Study of Joshua 24:15

My Summarized Findings
The adoption of paedobaptism, for me, was primarily driven by a deeper understanding of the definition of baptism. It became clear that Baptists and Presbyterians have two distinct definitions of this New Covenant sacrament. Baptists argue that baptism is a public testimony of the individual being baptized, as summarized by the commonly used phrase, “Baptism is an outward sign of an inward change.” However, this definition is never explicitly taught in Scripture. It is merely a derived definition drawn from the recorded acts of baptism in the New Testament. Baptists claim that baptism always follows a profession of faith, and I would agree when it comes to adult believers, as they are the only class of baptisms ever mentioned in the New Testament.

But what about the children of believers in the New Covenant? Of all the complex material I consumed on the matter, it was actually this very simple and short video that underpinned my research. My central question became: If the New Covenant is better than the Old Covenant, namely, built on better promises and built on greater inclusion (Gentiles, women receiving the covenant sign, etc.), then doesn’t it seem inconsistent that the Old Covenant would include the children of Jews but the New Covenant would exclude the children of Christians? The eminent Puritan Bible commentator Matthew Henry once expressed this inconsistency of excluding the children of believers from this privilege by stating, “If the seed of believers who were taken into the covenant, and had a right to the initiating seal under the Old Testament, are now turned out of the covenant and deprived of that right, then the times of the law were more full of grace than the times of the gospel; which is absurd. Can it be imagined that the Gentiles are, in respect of their children, in a worse state than they were under the Old Testament? Namely, in Israel, if a Gentile was proselytized and taken into the covenant, his children were taken in with him; and is that privilege denied now?”

Unlike Baptists, Presbyterians assert that baptism is not primarily the testimony of the person being baptized before an onlooking world, but rather the testimony of God through the church before the people of God. This is evident in the baptism of Jesus, where it was not His personal testimony to the world but God’s Testimony of who Jesus was through the hands of a minister in the church (John the Baptist). It was God who said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17).

Baptism, like circumcision in the Old Covenant, is a sign and seal of God’s ownership applied to the bodies of those who belong to Him, administered by His appointed representatives. As James W. Scott aptly states, “The person baptized is the recipient of baptism from a minister of Jesus Christ, acting in His name.” In a real sense, baptism is passively received more than it is actively procured. Like a brand given to an animal to identify its owner, baptism is a mark received from God, identifying those who belong to Him in covenant relationship.

To be clear, this article is not intended to be a defense of infant baptism but rather a short summary of the matter. If you’re looking for an introductory read on the topic that is not overwhelming, consider starting with Douglas Wilson’s To a Thousand Generations: Infant Baptism – Covenant Mercy for the People of God.

Through the process of understanding these divergent views on baptism, in March of 2023, I reached a point of conviction regarding the biblical foundation for infant baptism within the Presbyterian tradition. This was not a decision taken lightly, and I want to emphasize that I still hold love and respect for my Baptist brothers and sisters. I believe in the importance of continued fellowship and dialogue with them. However, this transition was marked by numerous conversations, debates, and devoted time spent in prayer and reading. Despite the immense intellectual work and pastoral challenges that come with transition, I now confidently stand alongside my theological heroes, aligning myself with the teachings of the Westminster Confession of Faith and following the guidance of my conscience.


Theological evolution is a real part of the Christian life. It’s not always convenient when you’re shepherding others, but it is necessary to obey your convictions regarding God’s Word. I firmly believe that these three transitions I have made align with the criteria of scriptural integrity, evangelical orthodoxy, and a rich heritage of faithful ministry. They were approached with careful consideration and a deep sense of responsibility for both my local congregation and my online ministry. Most importantly, they were driven by an unwavering commitment to the truth and message of the Gospel, ensuring that the transformative power of Christ remains at the center of all my doctrine.

Dale Partridge is the President of and holds a Graduate Certificate from Western Seminary. He is the author of several Christian books, including “The Manliness of Christ” and the bestselling children’s book “Jesus and My Gender.” He is also the host of the Real Christianity podcast and the lead pastor at King's Way Bible Church in Prescott, Arizona.

More by Dale

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