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

Infant Dedication

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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Beginning Well – Infant Dedication

 

In the interest of full disclosure I should acknowledge that I was baptized by immersion as a young person based on a confession of faith, signifying my acceptance of God's saving grace in Christ and full purpose to follow him. My baptism took place in the sanctuary where I currently worship. Although in the years in between that time and this one I have lived in different places far from here, my spiritual journey continues to circle back to my baptism and what it means for me.

Mark Quanstrom's story and mine are different in this respect. And I'd like to bring my perspective to this conversation. At the same time I want to affirm my colleague and friend. Our disagreement is substantive but quite congenial. In this spirit let me identify some key considerations that should guide our thinking - and practice - of infant baptism/dedication.

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