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Understanding Four Views on Baptism (Counterpoints: Church Life) Paperback – February 5, 2007
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From the Back Cover
What is the significance of water baptism? Who should be baptized? Is infant baptism scriptural? Which is the proper baptismal mode: sprinkling, pouring, or immersion? Should people be rebaptized if they join a church that teaches a different form of baptism? Should baptism be required for church membership? These and other questions are explored in this thought-provoking book.
Four historic views on baptism are considered in depth:
â¢ Baptism of the professing regenerate by immersion (Baptist)
â¢ Believers' baptism on the occasion of regeneration by immersion (Christian Churches/Churches of Christ)
â¢ Infant baptism by sprinkling as a regenerative act (Lutheran)
â¢ Infant baptism of children of the covenant (Reformed)
Each view is presented by its proponent, then critiqued and defended in dialogue with the book's other contributors. Here is an ideal setting in which you can consider the strengths and weaknesses of each stance and arrive at your own informed conclusion.
About the Author
John H. Armstrong is president of ACT 3 in Carol Stream, Illinois and served as a pastor for more than twenty years. He is an adjunct professor of evangelism at Wheaton College Graduate School. His online commentaries regularly appear at www.Act3online.com. He holds degrees from Wheaton College, Wheaton Graduate School, and Luther Rice Seminary. He is the author or editor of a number of books including The Catholic Mystery, Five Great Evangelists, Understanding Four Views on the Lord’s Supper, and Understanding Four Views on Baptism
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I found most of the views written with clarity. The authors knew how to present their positions well. The Lutheran View seemed to have the weakest presentation. I fault the author defending that position more than the position itself as other positions picked up on elements of that position and presented them better when making their own cases. The author's refutations of others positions also lost focus at times and drifted into refuting a previous presentation or presenting their own positions some more. I was disappointed the Roman Catholic/Orthodox View was not included in this discussion. But with that being said, I know the Lutheran View shares many similarities with it.
Overall, this book was well-written and gave a stellar presentation for each side (Lutheran excepted). The refutations proved to be excellent half of the time, but drifted in focus at other times. Nevertheless, one read enough to see the weaknesses in all of the positions. A good book to dive deeper on this topic!
There were a few places where I felt contributors were splitting semantic hairs. In some places, I found myself wondering what exactly two of the contributors disagreed on. (The Lutheran rebuttal to the Reformed essay is probably the biggest example of this). Overall though, this was an excellent read, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a fair and balanced presentation of the subject.