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Jesus Loves the Little Children : Why We Baptize Children Paperback – 2006
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For folks who are really puzzled by paedobaptism, I suggest O Palmer Robertson's "Christ of the Covenants," a much longer book on covenant theology that barely addresses infant baptism, but sets the stage for understanding sacraments as covenant signs.
I've learned a great deal from this book. This important teaching on Infant Baptism and of covenant family and community are fairly new to me and this book not only introduced, but explained Biblically--not by giving just proof texts and stopping there--but carefully putting together, and showing the reader the bigger picture of the whole jigsaw puzzle.
Also, the book gives you the whole enchilada--the important history of infant Baptism, a word to parents, an appendix on the Reformed Confessions and Baptism, and more.
First of all, Pastor Hyde has offered a compilation of the best Biblical arguments for the baptism of the infant children of believers. The arguments are offered concisely but with footnotes and references for those who wish to dig deeper. The skeleton is here, so to speak, but those who wish to see more meat on the bones will not have far to look.
Second, the book presents the Biblical arguments with a sense of church-historical consciousness. Hyde is especially sensitive to the practices and beliefs of the first sixteen centuries of the Christian church. With his references to Reformed liturgies and creeds, he clearly shows that infant baptism has nothing to do with "popery" and everything to do with the apostolic church.
Finally, so far as I know, this is the only book on the subject that deals with the practice of dedication found in some evangelical circles. Pastor Hyde points out that many of the proof-texts used to support dedication are the same texts used to argue for infant baptism. He calls for consistency, but also points out the far greater richness of baptism - a sacrament that speaks of the sovereign grace of a covenant-making God.
This book could profitably be used in situations (i.e. church planting) where God is bringing in people not (yet) convinced of the infant baptism position. It could also be used for those who, having grown up Reformed, have had doubts planted in their minds. If I would make one small suggestion for an improvement it would be the inclusion of the Bible texts with the "Reformed Confessions on Baptism" in Appendix 1. Aside from that small matter, this is an excellent explanation of "why we baptize children."
Hyde's booklet is a useful tool for Reformed Christians to strengthen their understanding of infant baptism; it is also an excellent book to give to those outside the Reformed faith who reject infant baptism. It will not add fuel to the sometimes fiery debates; rather, it will be a catalyst for patient and charitable conversations on this debate that dates back to the Reformation.
Short, sweet, biblical, confessional, historical, and practical, this book should be on your shelf if you've ever thought "Why do we baptize babies?" or "Why do Reformed churches baptize babies?"