As I have taught on baptism and wrestled with how it is often practiced in our Baptist churches, I have concluded that we too often limit God’s role to mere spectator. He isn’t doing anything in baptism except watching us testify to our faith. It would be textbook Pelagianism if we thought that baptism was in any way salvific, which we insist it isn’t.
I was thinking there was a need for a Baptist to write a book on believer’s baptism that takes into account, and even benefits from, some of the insights of our Reformed brothers and sisters. I was wondering if I should make this a future project, when this morning I learned that my friend Brandon Jones had just done it. So I’m simultaneously happy for Brandon and relieved that I am free to move on to other things.
Brandon’s book, which stems from his dissertation at Calvin Seminary, is called Waters of Promise. I haven’t read the book yet, but I’ve talked with Brandon about parts of it, and I’m sure it will help all of us who believe in believer’s baptism but wonder if there is more to it than we often say. The book is endorsed by Michael Haykin, who notes that the book lays out a biblical case for the meaning of baptism, which is something Baptists often don’t quite get.
We have got the who of baptism down pat. Waters of Promise will help us with the why.