Tuesday 6 November 2012

A Christian's Pocket Guide to Baptism by Robert Letham

The sub-title for this book published by Christian Focus Publications (2012) is: "The Water that Unites". This should immediately grab our attention because often discussion on the subject of baptism among Christian's appears sometimes to do the opposite. This little book is a summary of the historic reformed position on baptism which includes children of a believing parent(s).

There are nine mini-chapters and I recommend this to all Baptists also to read. Why is that? Well, I do not make the recommendation as a subversive way to convert them to our presbyterian position (though that would be great), but rather to foster a greater degree of understanding and humility on all sides. Paul's admonitions are so valuable and here are three of them.

Ephesians 5:2 "Walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God".

Philippians 2:3 "Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves".

Romans 12:18 "If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all".

I would not want to stir up controversy regarding baptism but quite honestly some comments I have received from Baptists regarding a presbyterian view on baptism have sometimes been founded on a misunderstanding.

One section towards the end of the book is worth it's "weight in gold". It is entitled "Is it Biblical to Require a Conversion Narrative of Christian Children?" (p 99-101). No matter what one's persuasion on baptism, this section is of great pastoral use to every section of the church. I commend this book to you!

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