Tuesday, November 22, 2005

On Christian Baptism

I love my Presbyterian brothers, but as a Southern Baptist I believe that the only baptism consistent with the New Testament teaching is the baptism of believers. In light of the recent news coming from Bethlehem Baptist church, however, I have been compelled to study this doctrine in more detail and examine why I do believe in believer's baptism and why exactly I deny paedobaptism. In the preliminary research I am doing I have found an old book reprint- On Christian Baptism by Adoniram Judson.

Judson's story of transition is a quite interesting. Judson grew up as a Congregationalist and entered the mission field under this system as well. While on board a boat crossing the ocean to India he decided to study the doctrine of baptism that when he and his new wife arrived in Calcutta he could defend his theological convictions against the legendary Dr. William Carey, English Baptist missionary in Calcutta. His investigation, however, revealed that it was he not Dr. Carey who was wrong. Out of this study Judson became a Baptist and preached a sermon on Christian baptism, which Dr. Carey urged him to have prepare for publication, so he did.

It is quite a good work. He does not deal very thoroughly with the arguments for the mode of baptism but his handling is sufficient. His main focus is on the subjects of baptism, which I believe Judson deals with thoroughly and wonderfully. By breaking down the paedobaptist arguments for baptizing infants and through exegetical examinations Judson provides solid footing for the baptism of believers alone. It is a great work and I commend it to you all, Presbyterian and Baptist alike.


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