Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Believer's Baptism

People tend to underestimate or overemphasize the importance of baptism. Frankly, the most common arguments I hear from baptists are rather weak. However, those who support infant baptism have to do a lot of speculation and guessing to justify their position. (In seminary, I tried for a year to convince myself of infant baptism....reading everything I could to persuade myself. The reason was that some of my very favorite people in history were Reformed theologians. In the end, nothing I read was convincing)

In the process, I gained an appreciation for the complexity of the question. It's not as straightforward as people like to think it is. Also, I realized what is at stake--our thoughts on baptism influence our communicating of the gospel, thus people's salvation, and the identity of the local church, among other things.
I recently had to read a book, "Believer's Baptism" (edited by Thomas Schreiner and Shawn Wright). Two chapters inside of it are worth twice the price of the book. Chapter 4, "Baptism and the Relationship between the Covenants" (by Stephen Wellum) and Chapter 7, "Baptism and the Logic of Reformed Paedobaptists" (by Shawn Wright) are probably the best writings on baptism I have ever read. Thoroughly Scriptural, directly engaging the arguments for infant baptism, and logically sharp.

Regardless of whether you accept infant baptism or not, if you are serious about the Bible and obeying Christ's commands (including baptism), this is an essential read. I honestly can't see how someone could read this book, especially these 2 chapters, and not be challenged, encouraged, and baptistic in their theology.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...