A Ministry of the School of Theology and Christian Ministry—Olivet Nazarene University

Infant Baptism

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

 

I'd like to thank my colleagues, Dr. Mark Quanstrom and Dr. Carl Leth, for an excellent job of laying before us the theological issues associated with infant baptism and infant dedication.  While their articles have helped us to think through the issues at stake and may have swayed many of us to reconsider our understanding of both rites, there remains the practical application of these theological understandings.  In a brief overview I would like to address the "what now?" questions that exist for the pastor who has to deal with these issues on a regular basis.  It is my hope that this ongoing conversation will help to establish some new patterns that will address the practical issues associated with infant baptism and infant dedication.

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A Brief Apology for Infant Baptism

 

In the interest of full disclosure, I must confess that Debi and I baptized our three sons when they were babies.  Lukas, Ryan and Daniel were baptized by their grandfather, who is an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene.  I remember the occasions well and the motivation for what was a relatively minority practice at that time was our desire for our children as children to have received the covenantal sign of God's acceptance of them.  We have always hoped that our children would have boring testimonies and by that I mean that we have never wanted them to have a dramatic testimony of being saved from the depths of sin.  Our intention was to raise our children in the faith such that they would not remember a time when they weren't within it.  To that end, we wanted them to know that God had welcomed them into his kingdom even before they could remember and baptism was the sign of that acceptance.

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