A couple of young people who occasionally drive from Williamsburg to attend our church, recently asked me to recommend some books on a confessional perspective on believers' baptism by immersion, as they are studying the issue of credobaptism versus paedobaptism. Here are five suggestions (listed in chronological order by the year published) with a few annotations:
1. John L. Dagg, Manual of Church Order (The Southern Baptist Publication Society, 1858; Gano Books, 1990).
This is the companion volume to Dagg’s Manual of Theology (1857). It provides a classic defense of believers’ baptism by immersion (pp. 13-73). Special focus is given to the linguistic argument regarding the verb baptizo with references to its uses in ancient Greek.
2. Fred Malone, A String of Pearls Unstrung (Founders Press, 1998).
This booklet, originally written in 1977, describes the author's transition from being a Presbyterian to being a Baptist. It can be read online here. For a fuller treatment on the subject of baptism you can also read his book The Baptism of Disciples Alone: A covenantal argument for credobaptism versus paedobaptism (Founders Press, 2003).
3. Samuel E. Waldron, Biblical Baptism: A Reformed Defense of Believers’ Baptism (Truth for Eternity Ministries, 1998).
This 80 page booklet from a leading contemporary Reformed Baptist systematic theologian provides a careful exegetical, theological, and practical discussion of baptism.
4. Hal Brunson, The Rickety Bridge and the Broken Mirror: Two Parables of Paedobaptism and One Parable of the Death of Christ (iUniverse, 2007).
This self-published book from a former Southern Baptist who considered becoming a Presbyterian but who eventually became a confessional Baptist offers a creative take on the topic by imagining a discussion between the Presbyterian B. B. Warfield, the dispensationalist J. N. Darby, and the confessional Baptist C. H. Spurgeon.
5. W. Gary Crampton, From Paedobaptism to Credobaptism: A Critique of the Westminster Standards on the Subjects of Baptism (Reformed Baptist Academic Press, 2010).
A pastor and scholar describes his transition from the Presbyterian to the confessional Baptist position through a study of the Westminster Standards. For my written review of this book look here (for the same review in audio look here).
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