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To Baptize or Not to Baptize…

February 26, 2011

That is the question raised by John Starke over at The Gospel Coalition.  “Should we baptize small children?“, is the question.  Starke answers with a resounding “yes.”

Starke makes a good case that the practice of withholding baptism until our children give mature, adult sounding confessions may be going beyond the bounds of Scripture.  In our zeal for the purity of the church, and to combat easy-believism we may have over-reacted and kept those whom Christ loves and who love him, from coming to the waters of baptism and thus from the communion table.

Admittedly, this is not an easy question to answer.  No one wants a church full of false confessors, and we all should dread the unbiblical practice of re-baptism.  Therefore, zeal concerning baptism and the desire to fence this sacrament is understandable.  However, I am thinking that maybe we are being too zealous and seeking to discern only where the Spirit of Christ can.  True, it is easier to believe in our day (in America, at least) than it was in the days of the apostles.  Nevertheless, all the apostles required was a faith in Christ and repentance from sin.  Who are we to require more?

It would seem to me that for a long time the question between Baptists and Presbyterians has not really been about the subjects of baptism (each practice the baptism of small children); the real question has been the mode of baptism and whether sprinkling is an acceptable expression of the biblical command.

Well, perhaps our brothers and sisters in the Greek Orthodox church can provide the appropriate compromise.  Perhaps the biblical practice is the baptism of infants by immersion :).

6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 28, 2011 5:03 pm

    What is the unbiblical practice of re-baptism?

  2. ajcarter permalink*
    February 28, 2011 5:17 pm

    Ha! The better question: what is the biblical warrant for “re-baptism”? The best you can say about it is that it is “sub-biblical.” How’s that?

    • ajcarter permalink*
      February 28, 2011 5:19 pm

      Or maybe, “extra-biblical” :).

      • February 28, 2011 7:21 pm

        Or maybe the question is “what is re-baptism”? I guess I’m trying to figure out if a person’s baptism is biblical, why would they do it again?

  3. February 28, 2011 7:25 pm

    Hey man:
    How do I get one of them nice pictures of myself on this blog? I don’t really like the purple flower maze kind of thing.

    • ajcarter permalink*
      February 28, 2011 7:45 pm

      Ha! You will need to go to and set up a profile page. On there you can change your picture or gravatar 🙂

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