- Paperback: 232 pages
- Publisher: Waters of Creation Publishing (August 31, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0578028042
- ISBN-13: 978-0578028040
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #235,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Waters of Creation: A Biblical Theological Study of Baptism Paperback – August 31, 2012
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The argumentation is rock-solid and rooted in the Scripture, first and foremost. As in his other books, Van Dorn does a superb job of pulling out the things we *would* have seen in Scripture had we looked more closely at the Scripture itself without any of the presuppositions trained into us. He draws in additional evidence from the church fathers and from ancient commentators to demonstrate that the points he's making are not novel. There is an amazing richness here in the typology of baptism that will be appreciated by credo- and paedobaptists alike. All this is done in such a way as to be very readable (I think my middle schooler could follow this without any difficulty), and respectful toward his paedobaptist brethren.
I do think the strength of the argumentation begins to weaken at the final point, where Van Dorn aims to convince us that Christian baptism is ultimately rooted in the Levitical covenant. There, in my opinion, a few inconsistencies begin to creep in, and the argument for this point does not carry the same weight as the earlier arguments do. This has the effect of leaving me somewhat unconvinced of credobaptism based on his argument (ironically, as I was credobaptist prior to reading the book). It is not solidly convincing of paedobaptism, either; this last point merely remains less developed than necessary, in my estimation, to complete the process of making everything clear.
I always felt that, as the writer of Hebrews calls washings an "elementary" teaching, we must be overlooking something extremely obvious to make baptism so complicated. Getting back to the roots of baptism and how the earliest believers would have understood it does a good deal to make the doctrine once again seem elementary.
Even though I believe that Van Dorn's argument fits better in a credobaptist understanding of federal theology, I am sure that paedobaptists will agree with him. I gladly recommend this book.
If you like Biblical Theology, this is a must read. Whether you agree with the premise or not, you will be challenged to ponder the redemptive-historical significance of Christian Baptism. This work will also challenge you to rethink your understanding of the relationship of the OT covenants with the New Covenant and its sacraments.
As Mr. VanDorn discusses the issue of believer's baptism vs. paedobaptism, he goes about it in such a way so as to eliminate the primary historical point of contension between Reformed Baptists and Reformed & Presbyterian believers. He actually presents an argument in favor of Credo baptism by presupposing a "more-presbyterian-than-baptist" view of covenant theology!
Perhaps ideas such as this may be able to bring reformed paedobaptists and reformed baptists back to the discussion table to reexamine our understanding of the sacrament of baptism. I am eager to see whether a paedobaptist response to this work will be forthcomming!
If you like Vos, Ridderbos, Meredeth Kline, etc., you will definately enjoy this read!