Category Archives: Why Baptize Babies?

Some (non-paedo-) Baptists are discussing my book

Why Baptize Babies: An Explanation for the Theology and Practice of the Reformed Churches

A while back I was sent a copy of “Why Baptize Babies: An Explanation of the Theology and Practice of the Reformed Churches” by Mark Horne. It’s more of a pamphlet than a full-sized book but it does a pretty good job of explaining the reasoning behind the practice of infant Baptism in Protestant circles.

I’ll give an outline of the main points and then in a separate post I’ll share some thoughts I had about the content of the book.

The book opens by asserting that it will answer the question “How is it that Reformed Christians both believe the Bible and practice paedobaptism?”

The forward graciously acknowledges that Baptists have done much good and that even if there is a disagreement about mode and method of baptism that we remain brothers and sisters in Christ. This does engender a certain reciprocity of goodwill towards the remainder of the contents from readers like myself who have a Baptist background.

The main points then seem to be as follows:


3 quickie arguments for baptizing babies

1: Jesus commanded the disciples to batize all the nations. Babies are members of the nations. Babies should be baptized.

2: Jesus commanded all disciples to be bapized into discipleship. Parents are to disciple their children from birth. Their babies should, therefore, be baptized.

    3: God arranged for the Israelites to undergo many cleansings, which the author of Hebrews calls baptisms. There is a contrast between the many washings and our once-and-for-all baptism. All the evidence indicates that Israelite babies could become unclean and need cleansing. So they should instead now be given the once-and-for-all cleansing that is baptism.

    Buy Why Baptize Babies: An Explanation of the Theology and Practice of the Reformed Churches (scroll down). Buy it for yourself or buy it for friends.

    Isn’t there a command to baptize babies?

    book coverIn my book (scroll down), I spend some initial space talking about how we derive conclusions from Scripture.

    One example of a way in which people make uncritical assumptions when dealing with the text, is the common idea that there is no NT command to baptize babies (another problem is assuming there must be a NT command, but let’s forget about that for now).

    Doesn’t the Great Commission tell us to baptize and disciple all the nations? Are not infants included in nations
    True, this only is for those who are disciples, but this doesn’t change anything.  After all, how long do you wait before discipling a child?  How long before you attempt to mold them by a godly example, singing Christian songs, praying model prayers, etc, before them.

    The message in infant baptism is simply that discipleship starts from the beginning.  Baptism can’t come any later.

    Other statements are found calling on people to repent of their paganism or their sinful lifestyle and be baptized.  But surely these people are repenting also of raising their children as pagans.  Shouldn’t they then repent by discipling their children for Jesus from the earliest age?