Dipping into baptism 3

A good recent book on the contested waters of baptism is Baptism: Three Views, edited by the late David F Wright just before he died.

The three views are:

  1. Believers’ Baptism View: Bruce A. Ware
  2. Infant Baptism View: Sinclair B. Ferguson
  3. Dual-Practice Baptism View: Anthony N. S. Lane

In No 1, one is baptised on profession of personal faith by immersion.

I’ve just may have given a hint in the first post that I’m not persuaded by No.2. 🙂

No. 3, building on the diversity of practice in the early church, is an argument for the practice of similiar diversity today – instead of the ‘either / or’ alternatives of the credo-baptist or infant-baptist views. [BTW the seemingly ageless Professor Tony Lane was my theology lecturer at London Bible College [now London School of Theology] – and he’s still there and seems not to have changed a bit].

There is a whole lot to be said – this post is just teeing up the discussion to come. I’ll also be using a special edition of Evangelical Quarterly from 2006 on Baptism.

The introduction by Daniel Reid (standing in for the late David Wright) has a nice quote from Karl Barth, who shifted from a paedobaptist to believer’s baptist position and got a fair bit of flak for his troubles:

An important sign that a defender of infant baptism is certain that his cause has a sound theological basis ought surely to be …. that he is able to present and support it calmly

A laudable goal for whatever view is held …  And so, being a paragon of objectivity, I’ll try to give each view a fair hearing!

4 thoughts on “Dipping into baptism 3

  1. How can you be an elder in a Presbyterian church and not be persuaded by no2? Am I missing something? What do you do when infant candidates for baptism are discussed at your leadership meetings?

  2. Welcome David,
    I did address that question in the previous post in the series on baptism. I see it as a ‘liberty in the gospel issue’. As an elder I’m happy to serve within a Presbyterian church and operate within and respect its doctrinal stance. There is enough doctrinal and historical support for infant baptism to make a coherent case for it. I’m just not that persuaded by the argument.

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