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Understanding Baptism

(Church Basics)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  109 ratings  ·  19 reviews
What's the big deal about baptism?Jesus commands his disciples to be baptized, and it’s a glorious picture of a person’s union with Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. Still, many Christians feel unclear about the topic, having more questions than answers. This short work provides a biblical explanation of baptism. What is it? Who should be baptized? Why is it required ...more
Paperback, 80 pages
Published January 15th 2016 by B Books
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Craig Hurst
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
“The Christian life is a churched life.” This simple, yet profound statement under-girds a new series of books Church Basics edited by Jonathan Leeman from B&H. This series is aimed at the average church member and each book addresses a specific part of church life of which every church member ought to be both knowledgeable about and involved in.

Understanding Baptism answers basic questions like What is Baptism?, Who Should be Baptized?, and How Should Churches Practice Baptism? This book,
Jeff Short
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a clear, concise, and readable book. Jamieson does a good job explaining baptism. I greatly appreciated the emphasis on the Gospel in connection to baptism, how baptism is a public profession, and the connection with church membership. I disagreed with his take on the lone Christian and baptism. He overworked the Acts 8 passage on the baptism of the Ethiopian Eunuch. If he had just left that out, this already strong book would've been stronger. Overall the book is helpful and worth ...more
Matt Tyler
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
A very useful book. The writing is clear and the arguments are straightforward and convincing without being tedious.

We use this book quite a bit with individuals attending our church.
Joshua Lister
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
I can understand and respect a view of baptism which considers it to be a sign of personal testimony of faith in Christ. Along with this, I understand the Baptist position that there is no difference between all regenerate believers and members of the New Covenant. Bobby does a fine job of explaining and arguing for this position in the first three chapters. However, I do not see how this position would lead you to reject people who hold different convictions about what baptism is from church ...more
H.b. Charles
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Biblical, clear, practical, thorough, and helpful. I intend to give a copy of this book to every baptism candidate in our church from now on!
Matt Felton
Sep 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent primer. Useful for pastors and members. Helpful not just on baptism, but on nature of ordinances in general, and particularly there function in relation to a church.
Jacob O'connor
Aug 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Ah, I remember my baptism. Scenic Oklahoma lake. I'm not sure the cinder blocks were completely necessary.

When I was a new Christian the concept of baptism was helpful. I studied Romans 6. I loved this idea that I was buried with Jesus. As He was buried in death, so was I. Going under the water symbolized this. As He rose from the dead, I rise with Him. Coming out of the water pictured this. We understand quite a bit about our salvation by baptism.

Oh, and just kidding above. I wasn’t baptized
Dave Betts
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: christian-study
This short book is intended for people along the spectrum of belief from non-believers to Christian leaders, but to be frank, I would be embarrassed to share it with anyone but leaders.

While I would agree with *most* of the author’s theological positions (some minor arguments are poorly explained or given more weight than perhaps they deserve), the book is utterly devoid of joy and drenched in legalism. The beauty of baptism seems to have become an academic exercise and the lack of love
Tyler Hurst
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really helpful in beginning to think through the issue of baptism. I think 4 is the maximum stars it should get as it isn't answering some of the deeper questions I have, but it isn't really intended to answer those. What I am hoping for is a book that moves beyond the basics of infant vs believer baptism to at what age should children be baptized? What sort of markers should I be looking for to be comfortable baptizing a young child (3-5 years)?
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Succinct explanation of baptism from a Baptist perspective. Very helpful for me in determining if I need to be “re-baptized.” The key for me in not doing so thus far has been Bobby’s take that “unless one is convinced” that he or she wasn’t a believer at the time of his or her baptism, he or she probably should not be “re-baptized.” Quick read.
Sean Fuentes
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: baptism
Very basic and simple introduction to Christian baptism from a Baptist perspective.
Leo Simonetti
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book offers a great objective view of what baptism means as well as why baptism is necessary to truly be a Christian.
Shane Williamson
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ecclesiology
Excellent. Succint, clear, compelling. Must read for all.
Erik Spohr
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Cogent, clear, helpful.
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good, concise work on baptism.
Brandi (Rambles of a SAHM)
I was saved and baptized over thirty years ago and I have always felt like I have a pretty good understanding on the act of baptism. When I received Understanding Baptism in the mail I figured it would be a quick read (it's only 74 pages) that would basically be addressing issues for new believers.

Well I was sort of right because the book (booklet?) does reach out to new believers but it was also written for the more mature believer that is just wanting more specifics and of course it is also
Apr 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a quick, easy read on a basic theology of baptism. Organizing the book around five questions asked of baptism is extremely helpful for those who have a particular question on the practice. It is written from a Baptist perspective, so obviously is most helpful for those who hold a credobaptist position, though chapters on the theology of baptism and why it is required for church membership may well be helpful for people across denominational lines. Overall, I think the book accomplishes ...more
Apr 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Brief yet helpful presentation of the Biblical teaching of baptism. The chapters on infant baptism (ch. 3) and what isn't baptism (ch. 5) were especially helpful.
Sean Dickard
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Jul 29, 2018
Lis Candelier
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Aug 13, 2018
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Jan 10, 2016
rated it it was amazing
May 14, 2019
Jonathan Templeton
Who would I recommend this book to? anyone thinking about baptism or thinking about church membership.

What did I find most helpful? Chapter three deals with infant baptism and gives helpful reasons why not to consider it a legitimate baptism.

What book would I recommend before or after this book? I would recommend the short book Church Membership by Jonathan Leeman be read before.
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Aug 16, 2017
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Dec 20, 2016
Hejin Kim
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Bobby Jamieson is a Ph.D. student in New Testament and affiliated lecturer in New Testament Greek at the University of Cambridge. He and his wife are members of Eden Baptist Church, and they live in Cambridge with their three children. Bobby previously served as assistant editor for 9Marks.

See also R.B. Jamieson

Other books in the series

Church Basics (6 books)
  • Understanding Church Discipline (Church Basics)
  • Understanding The Lord's Supper
  • Understanding the Congregation's Authority
  • Understanding the Great Commission
  • Understanding Church Leadership