Thursday, July 20, 2006


I'm delighted to continue my support for anablepo. CG has recently posted about his reading of David F Wright's latest book on baptism. Here's the initial review, and here's a follow up based on review found in EQ journal.

This is all very alarming for a simple soul like me. I was reminded of this essay I wrote about B.B. Warfield on baptism - comparing Wright and Warfield might be an interesting exercise. I doubt if Warfield would agree with the caution of Wright: 'I am happy to acknowledge infant baptism to be agreeable to the Word of God, without being able to regard it as being prescribed by it.' In fact, I reckon Warfield would find this extremely wooly. If infant baptism is not prescribed by the Word of God, I'm not sure how it can be agreeable with that Word.

Is Wright saying that anything goes when it comes to baptismal practice? If so, how can this be squared with the current position in our churches - baptism remains the pre-eminent practice that divides (evangelical) churches. And yet, according to this leading scholar on the subject, 'the true history of baptism of itself favours dogmatism on neither side of the traditional divide'.

Ministers in the Church of Scotland are duty bound to be dogmatic about baptism. Will that church, along with other churches, ever listen to the voice of historical and theological reason on baptism?


C G said...

Dave, as you know this is something that has troubled me for a long time. I'd love to hear your comments on the book!Crawford

Danny said...

Short answer (yes I can do short...) is NO! Tradition is too strong (as is the deep emotional attachment to infant baptism - although I'm sure many won't view it in those terms)even if not biblically/historically logical - now I'll actually read the stuff!! Sounds fascinating (sorry don't do short after all)