The key issue that pedobaptists have with advocates of believers baptism is the way in which believers baptism ties the recpetion of baptism to the ability of the recipient to make a confession of faith and a commitment to a life of discipleship. It is alleged that this requirement being placed on the baptized mitigates the gratuity of God’s grace. However, all acknowedge that in the New Testament there is an integral link between faith and baptism. There can be no administration of baptism without faith if it is to be true to the pattern of the New Testament and the early church. Advocates of pedobaptism have typically responded that it is required that the parents of the infant being baptized do so on the basis of their faith and commitment to raise the child as a Christian.
So, in truth there is not really a difference between advocates of believers baptism and infant baptism as to the role of faith in baptism. Both believe it is indispensible that the act of baptism be united with the act of faith. Pedobaptists simply argue that the parent’s faith is sufficient grounds for the baptism of their children (thus, the children of unbelievers are not the subject of baptisms, for there is no way for baptism to be united with faith on that account).
The point I simply want to draw out is that neither pedobaptism nor believers baptism is more voluntaristic than the other. Both require that the human response of faith is necessary for a valid baptism. It is not that one insists on human response whereas the other is purely gift. Both require that the gift of baptism be recieved in faith. The question that pedobaptists have to answer is why and how it makes theological sense for the faith of parents to merit the baptism of their children who do not have faith.