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 Issues | Infant Baptism | Introduction

The Baptism of Infants

By the Revd G. W. Bromiley, M. A., D. Litt.

Vine Books Ltd (Publishers to Church Society) , 1955, 1976 & 1977



Chapter 1 - The Practice of the New Testament

Chapter 2 - The Witness of the Old Testament

Chapter 3 - The Meaning of Baptism

Chapter 4 - The Election of the Father

Chapter 5 - The Substitution of the Son

Chapter 6 - The Sovereign Activity of the Spirit

Chapter 7 - The Scope of Baptism

Chapter 8 - The Salvation of Infants


The continued practice of infant baptism still presents a problem to many members of the great Reformation churches. This is especially the case in the earlier days after conversion. The new convert does not easily see either the relevance or the meaning or indeed the scriptural justification of his earlier baptism in infancy. He is necessarily exposed to the challenge of baptist teaching and practice. He may feel the need to make some dramatic confession of his new faith as in the act of re-baptism. He will know the unsettling influence of baptist presence and propaganda in certain spheres of inter-denominational action. Not having the time to weigh the matter thoroughly he may either be swept away by the superficially convincing arguments of his critics, or hold his ground only with a bad conscience and a hampering sense of perplexity. In these circumstances there is very obvious need for a short but comprehensive statement of the scriptural reasons for infant baptism. It is to try to supply that need that the present booklet is written.

The purpose of the work will make it plain that it is not polemical in character or deliberately proselytizing in intention. Naturally, the baptist counter-arguments will have to be taken into account and the grounds of their rejection stated. Naturally, too, it is hoped that those who do not accept infant baptism will read the statement and consider it carefully in the light of Holy Scripture and scriptural doctrine. Much of the acrimony which has entered into the whole question is due to the unwillingness to subject preconceptions to a solid scriptural investigation, with a consequent intolerance on the one hand and exclusivism on the other. This is obviously wrong. What is needed is that both baptists and non-baptists should be prepared at least for a mutual toleration and respect, and that they should give themselves not merely to find support in Scripture for their own inherited teaching but to subject that teaching to the searching and if necessary reforming criticism of Scripture.

The statement which follows is a brief and summarized account of the matter as the evangelical churches of the Reformation see it. It is important that members of those churches should not abandon their baptism without considering the arguments advanced, although it is all to the good that they should study the baptist alternative. It is also important that baptists should realize that there is on the traditional side a very definite scriptural and evangelical understanding which they must respect even if they cannot accept. Their criticisms will be useful so long as they are designed not to score debating points but rightly to discern the will of God in the administration and understanding of that sacrament which He Himself has appointed.


>> Chapter 1 - The Practice of the New Testament





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Related Links

Bromiley : Infant Baptism Pages
BulletNew Testament Practice
BulletOld Testament Witness
BulletMeaning of Baptism
BulletElection of Father
BulletSubstitution of the Son
BulletActivity of the Spirit
BulletThe Scope of Baptism
BulletInfant Salvation

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