SKU (ISBN): 9780802817136
Binding: Trade Paper
Publisher: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Print On Demand Product
Paul Jewett, author of the creative and highly provocative book Man As Male and Female, here turns his critical attention to the practice of infant baptism. Jewett does not accept the traditional covenant argument for baptizing infants, and this book explains why he believes this argument fails.
Infant baptism is not a subject which can be isolated. For, as Jewett would have his readers understand, one’s view on this issue is integrally related to one’s view of the sacraments in general and thereby to the whole doctrine of the church and salvation. Thus it is understandable that what appears to be a minor theological question has had such divisive effects on the church.
A discussion of the historical source of infant baptism begins Jewett’s critique and introduces such issues as the distinction between infants and children, the silence of certain early church fathers on the subject, infant communion, and catechetical instruction.
The second and major portion of this book examines the theological issue, focusing specifically on the covenant argument, which suggests that baptism replaces circumcision as the sign of the covenant and thereby is given to infants. This argument, Jewett claims, fails to take into account the historical character of revelation, and contains certain contradictions.
Jewett concludes with a creative defense of believer baptism, one which is theologically responsible and which recognizes the profound truths of covenant theology.