Baptism Resources

August 23rd, 2008

I wrote my two entries on infant baptism because I’ve been encountering the subject in a few different places lately.  If you’re interested in thinking about the issues, you might check some of them out:

John Piper’s recent sermons

John Piper’s church, Bethlehem Baptist, is dealing with a question of church membership.  Baptism is a standard requirement for membership–so Baptist churches have to decide, “Should we allow people to become members who were baptized as infants and will not be baptized as an adult, professing believer?”  (Piper would like to widen the existing policy to allow it.)  He has recently preached on How Important Is Church Membership?, and What Is Baptism, and How Important Is It?

The latter is a pretty good basic case for believer’s baptism.  If you only have time for one thing to listen to/read, I would recommend that.

Update: Also, the former is a pretty good case for why Christians ought to be committed to a particular local body of believers.


Dr. James White (a Reformed Baptist) and Pastor Bill Shisko debated baptism a couple years ago.  I’ve listened to it multiple times since I first downloaded it last year.  It’s a fairly accessible, if you’re studying the issue for the first time.  It’s a well-structured, pleasant debate.  It has some good back-and-forth, some cross-examination, and some audience questions. I would recommend this, if you’re willing to devote a couple hours. Here are the mp3s.

Dr. Robert B. Strimple (a paedobaptist) and Dr. Fred Malone (a Reformed Baptist) debated the subject at Westminster Seminary.  I think Dr. Strimple’s arguments are deeper than Pastor Bill Shisko’s–but I think Dr. White’s may have deeper than Dr. Malone’s.  Dr. Strimple presents a fairly strong case for the covenantal aspects of the paedobaptist view.   (But this debate has less interaction between the two, so I think it’s less useful in some ways.)  Here it is:  The Proper Subjects of Baptism

Some blog discussions

Sparked by Piper’s sermons, there has been some discussion lately in the blogosphere.  Frank Turk (aka centuri0n) has had some entries, with some challenging discussion in the comment sections.  (You’ll find some comments by me.) You can check them out at:

  1. First Up, Lutherans
  2. Kobra Konquest
  3. Corresponds to What?

Segment from Issues, Etc.

Here’s the segment that I mentioned in the previous entry, from Issues, Etc.

“Answering Objections to Infant Baptism” with Pastor Tim Pauls

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4 Responses to “Baptism Resources”

  1. Al Margheim says:

    You might want to add a link to John Piper’s article responding to Wayne Grudem’s change in position on baptism as a requirement for church membership. IMO, this is a must read article.

    John’s article is here:

  2. Tim says:

    Thanks, Dad. That was a good read. Have you been following these developments at Bethlehem, yourself?

    The whole question of membership & paedobaptism gets into some interesting questions about requirements for both membership and leadership. What are the proper requirements for local church membership? How “correct” must your theology be? Should you have to be able to sign the church statement of faith? If so, then how much should go on that statement of faith? And should a church have a broader, more detailed statement of faith as a requirement for leadership? Should a paedobaptist be allowed to be an elder at a baptist church? How about a deacon? A small group leader? A Sunday School teacher?

  3. […] pretty much done with my recent entries on infant baptism, but I found a couple more resources on the subject–about infant baptism in the early […]

  4. Rob says:

    I don’t follow Piper or how you could widen the existing policy to allow infant baptized members into a Baptist church as a member. Isn’t this the same as saying that the way we baptize isn’t really important?