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Understanding Four Views on Baptism (Counterpoints)

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  80 ratings  ·  12 reviews
What is the significance of water baptism? Who should be baptized? Is infant baptism scriptural? Which is the proper baptismal mode: sprinkling, pouring, or immersion? Should people be rebaptized if they join a church that teaches a different form of baptism? Should baptism be required for church membership? These and other questions are explored in this thought-provoking ...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published August 30th 2009 by Zondervan (first published February 1st 2007)
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I was impressed by the way the four authors (a Baptist, a Reformed theologian, a Lutheran, and a representative of the Christian Church / Churches of Christ) highlight the ways they disagree with each other while writing with respect and love.

I was most interested with John Castelein's defense of the perspective of the Christian Church / Churches of Christ (my own heritage). I thought it was one of the best defenses I've read (up there with John Mark Hicks in Down in the River to Pray and Jack C
It was in many ways your run-of-the-mill "(Number of) Views on (a doctrine)" books. It's okay, and more useful than not reading it, but it doesn't go very in-depth, nor are the arguments as strong as they could be.

It presented the following four views of baptism:

Thomas Nettles - Baptist View (Believers baptism only, baptism is not regenerative)
Richard L. Pratt, Jr. - Reformed View (Infant baptism, baptism is not regenerative)
Robert Kolb - Lutheran View (Infant baptism, baptism is regenerative)
If you haven't studied this issue you will probably like this book as the authors provide succinct overviews of what is really quite a detailed subject requiring laborious study to master. If you feel that you are fairly well-read on this subject then you may not profit (that much) from this book.

The two I'm most concerned with (for my purposes) are Nettles' and Pratt's chapters, so I'll briefly comment. Nettles' chapter doesn't deal with any of the difficult objections that I think should be o
A. Carroll
Helpful, but this volume does not sparkle as much as others in the series. Additionally, while the book includes Baptist, Church of Christ/Christian Church, Reformed, and Lutheran viewpoints, it does not include a Catholic/Orthodox viewpoint. Since several of the contributors seem to be reacting to what they perceive as the Catholic viewpoint, that absence is problematic.
Josh Smetzer
Interesting to see the difference of opinions and interpretations of various scriptures. If you can set aside your own bias you can see that each of the authors make some good arguments. And while their argument may be good they each show how to have a discussion while maintaining their own beliefs. Each bring up interesting things to consider. A good read to learn the different positions held on baptism and counter arguments to each position.
G Walker
Pratt has some helpful things to say... but the book _the Case for Covenantal Infant Baptism_ would serve better than this, even for all the point or counter point issues... or even Booth's _Children of the Promise_... Boo overall... and boo for the debate still being cycled and turned into an issue of "profit" and "sport".
Marcus Lynn
This book fairly and ably represents the views of baptism from the Lutheran, Reformed, Baptist, and Christian Church traditions. However, I really would love to see a book like this that would be accessible by lay people. It was difficult for me to follow and I've got an M.Div.!
One of two books I read on the subject of Baptism. Check in my Library for Baptism: Three Views as the other one.
So helpful to hear views from people that believe them and can passionate, logical defenses. The Counterpoints series (and those like it from other publishers) are great resources that every pastor and church library should have.
The counterpoints books are always good reads. This one was no different. Why only three stars? I didn't think a couple of the views were defended very well. More depth and clarity would have been nice.
Lewis Noles
Good discussion of the four views of Baptism.
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