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The Case for Covenantal Infant Baptism Paperback – August 1, 2003
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"Seeing baptism in the light of covenant theology unfolds the richness of the promises set forth in that blessed sign and seal. This volume is a welcome exposition of the biblical doctrine." --J. Ligon Duncan III
"Any church that desires to pass the torch of the gospel to the next generation must understand this book." --John P. Sartelle Sr.
About the Author
Gregg Strawbridge is pastor of All Saints Presbyterian Church (CRE), in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and director of an Internet audio library. He has taught college-level courses at several campuses and has written on a variety of issues related to theology, apologetics, and worship.
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Top Customer Reviews
Bryan Chapell "A Pasotoral Overciew of Infant Baptism" - This essay attempts to give readers an overview of a pastoral explanation of infant baptism. Instead of being rigorous exegetically and theologically, a practical explanation is given. It is a good practical explanation of the practice, but does lack the rigor of the other essays.
Daniel Doriani "Matthew 28:18-20 and the Institution of Baptism" - This essay is a good explanation of how the institution of baptism in Matthew 28 and Mark 16 does not preclude the baptism of infants. It is fairly rigorous in its exegesis, but it could have been better.
Joel Beeke and Ray Lanning "Unto You and to Your Children" - This was a good essay of a neglected text by Baptists, however it was very repetitive. It could have been better, though.
Jonathan Watt "The Oikos Formula" - This was a good essay on the nature of the household in the Jewish world. It goes over the linguistic usage of 'oikos' and all of its cognats in the New Testament. It was well written.
Mark Ross "Baptism and Circumcision as Signs and Seals" - This was an essay designed to connect baptism as circumcision and what all they signify. Overall, it was fairly well written.
Joseph Pipa "The Mode of Baptism" - This essay was written to argue against a strict adherence to immersion as the proper mode of baptism. It was a very good essay and crushing in its conclusion. What is interesting as a side note, the ancestors of the Baptists, the Anabaptists, do not immerse, they pour.
Jeffrey Niell "The Newness of the New Covenant" - This was one of the best essays in the book. The price of the book is worth this essay alone. Niell delevers a crushing blow to the argument that the New Covenant precludes infants from partaking of the blessings and curses of the New Covenant.
Richard Pratt "Infant Baptism in the New Covenant" - This essay was also a heavy-hitter. Pratt and Niell do not totally agree, but I do think they compliment each other well. Pratt argues from a Redemptive-Historical perspective that the New Covenant will not be totally fullfilled until the Eschaton (i.e. an already/not yet schema). With this, I heartily agree.
Randy Booth "Covenant Transition" - This is another hard-hitting essay. Booth argues that the New Covenant is the same covenant as the old, with the only difference that we now do not have to rely on bloddy sacrifices for the forgiveness of sins, but Christ paid that once for all.
Corelis Venema "Covenant Theology and Baptism" - This was a good article on classical covenantal theology and is very helpful.
Lyle Bierma "Infant Baptism in the Reformed Confessions" - This essay was incredible. Bierma is one of my favorite historians. This goes over all of the major confessions and catechisms of Reformed Theology. He does a great job to show how that the Reformed had to argue against Anabaptism during the Reformation and their offspring the English Baptists thereafter.
Peter Liethart "Infant Baptism in History: An Unfinished Tragicomedy" - This essay is also incredible. Of course, Peter Leithart is an incredible writer. He relates literary theory to the topic of infant baptism. He even admits that while the early church practiced infant baptism, they were often very inconsistent in their practice. Until Augustine, this was the case. This was a terrific essay.
Gregg Strawbridge "The Polemics of Anabaptism from the Reformation Onward" - This essay was an incredible essay and shows that Baptists, while definitely presenting a cogent argument, cannot stand up to the apostasy/warning passages in the New Testament. His introductory essay was also incredible.
Douglas Wilson "Baptism and Children: Their Place in the Old and New Testaments" - This was also a terrific essay and places the issue where the key question remains: the view of our children.
R.C. Sproul Jr. "In Jesus' Name, Amen" - This was also a very well written essay and gives another argument that most Baptists avoid, namely that they have people who received the covenant sign, and yet still fall away. They cannot explain this, since the visible church is supposed to be pure. Another excellent argument.
Overall this work was well-written and deserves to be read.
Gregg Strawbridge: Intriguing. Although he gives too much weight to the arguments of those who oppose infant baptism, he succinctly points out their case is based on inference.
Bryan Chapell: Good. He analyzes the biblical accounts of household baptisms. He takes the view that infant baptism is a seal which can be applied before the recipient meets the conditions of the covenant.
Daniel M. Doriani: Not about infant baptism. More of a curiosity piece, really.
Joel R. Beeke and Ray B. Lanning: Tries to prove too much.
Jonathan M. Watt: Depends too much on the culture of the time.
Mark E. Ross: Great. Fascinating examination of both circumcision and baptism as signs and seals. "What is signified and sealed by baptism is what God demands of us, not what we have pledged to God."
Joseph Pipa: Good. Shows that baptism does not mean immersion. Article is somewhat wordy.
Jeffrey D. Niell: Great. A tour de force on the relation between Jeremiah 31 and Hebrews 8. He makes a convincing case that this is the doing away of the ceremonial law.
Richard L. Pratt Jr.: A much weaker essay on the relation between Jeremiah 31 and the New Testament.
Randy Booth: Good. A sweeping overview of covenant transition, useful for more than just the subject of baptism. Not as interesting for those who are skeptical, because of the large number of assertions.
Cornelis P. Venema: Good. A rigorous defense of infant baptism, based on the theology of the confessions.
Lyle D. Bierma: Good. Another rigorous defense of infant baptism, based on the theology of the confessions. Venema's quotes more from scripture, and Bierma's quotes more from the confessions.
Peter J. Leithart: Assumes the early church believed in believer's baptism, which isn't justified. Ends up saying that nobody has a good theology of infant baptism.
Gregg Strawbridge: Good. A study of the different camps who deny infant baptism, going back to the Reformation. He shows that those who validly partake of the covenant signs are members of the covenant.
Douglas Wilson: Good. He correctly states that this has to do with a biblical view of families, and he quotes some verses. The reasoning can become extreme, though.
R.C. Sproul, Jr.: Kind of a meandering piece that sounds like a series of personal thoughts, which could have been backed up by scripture.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book offers the advice, wisdom, and knowledge of several men who seek to give a convincing case for covenantal baptism.Read more