One of the more persistent arguments made by Baptist critics of infant baptism is: “It’s not in the NT.” Bryan Holstrom has written a brief (156 pp) book to address this and related questions about infant baptism. Infant Baptism and the Silence of the NT is available at The Bookstore at WSC for $9.99 (+5.00 UPS ground shipping and taxes). In his foreword, my colleague David VanDrunen writes,
Bryan Holstrom has written an excellent book…. His view is simple: Scripture teaches that the children of believers should be baptized and the Christian church should again unite in in the practice of paedobaptism. Holstrom makes his case in exactly the right way. He is clear about where he stands and argues his position rigorously and engagingly.He bases his claims not upon his own opinions or clever syllogisms but upon careful interpretation of Scripture. He gives no quarter to his Baptist interlocutors yet appeals to them winsomely as brothers in Christ—with a firm but gentle spirit.He presses the point that rejecting infant baptism is not a minor error, for it concerns more than just baptism but also the whole biblical story of God’s redeeming work among his people.
…Bryan Holstrom has written an excellent book and I hope that it gets into the hands of many readers. He has served the church and the cause of biblical truth well. Those holding a Baptist view will find themselves challenged in the best sort of way—by a thorough exploration of biblical teaching. Paedobaptists themselves will be pushed to think in richer and more biblically consistent ways about their practice of infant baptism. May this book serve to heal divisions in Christ’s church and to encourage Christians to embrace more meaningfully the covenant promises of God for themselves and their children.
More resources on baptism:
This little booklet ($1.33 + 5.00 shipping and taxes) deals with the question of the relations between baptism, election and the “double mode” of existing in the covenant of grace. Does baptism confer election of any sort? Does baptism confer salvation of any sort? Does baptism confer justification, adoption or any other of the benefits of the covenant of grace?
Wes Bredenhof says of Danny Hyde’s brief book (104 pp) “First of all, Pastor Hyde has offered a compilation of the best Biblical arguments for the baptism of the infant children of believers. The arguments are offered concisely but with footnotes and references for those who wish to dig deeper. The skeleton is here, so to speak, but those who wish to see more meat on the bones will not have far to look.
Second, the book presents the Biblical arguments with a sense of church-historical consciousness. Hyde is especially sensitive to the practices and beliefs of the first sixteen centuries of the Christian church. With his references to Reformed liturgies and creeds, he clearly shows that infant baptism has nothing to do with “popery” and everything to do with the apostolic church.
Finally, so far as I know, this is the only book on the subject that deals with the practice of dedication found in some evangelical circles. Pastor Hyde points out that many of the proof-texts used to support dedication are the same texts used to argue for infant baptism. He calls for consistency, but also points out the far greater richness of baptism – a sacrament that speaks of the sovereign grace of a covenant-making God.”
Here are two free resources on this question:
Dennis Johnson—Infant Baptism How My Mind Has Changed