These important and incisive essays, spanning more than two decades of research and engagement, probe facets and episodes of infant baptism's fortunes over twenty centuries. The story of pedobaptism is traced from its shadowy beginnings as a variant of faith-baptism, through inflated Reformation defenses as infant-baptism monopolized baptismal thought and practice, to biblical and ecumenical reevaluations and hopeful contemporary rapprochements across divisive waters.
Table of Contents:
Introduction: The Strange History of Infant Baptism, Not Least in Scotland
Part A: The Early Centuries: Slow Development
1. The Origins of Infant Baptism – Child Believers’ Baptism?
2. How Controversial Was the Development of Infant Baptism in the Early Church?
3. The Apostolic Fathers and Infant Baptism: Any Advance on the Obscurity of the New Testament?
4. The Meaning and Reference of ‘One Baptism for the Remission of Sins’ in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed
5. At What Ages Were People Baptized in the Early Centuries?
6. Augustine and the Transformation of Baptism
7. Monnica’s Baptism, Augustine’s Deferred Baptism, and Patricius
8. Donatist Theologoumena in Augustine? Baptism, Reviviscence of Sins and Unworthy ministers
9. Infant Dedication in the Early Church
10. The Baptism(s) of Julian the Apostate Revisited
Part B: The Reformation Era: Scripture and the Appeal to the Fathers
11. Out, In, Out: Jesus’ Blessing of the Children and Infant Baptism
12. Infant Baptism and the Christian Community in Bucer
13. George Cassander and the Appeal to the Fathers in Sixteenth-Century Debates about Infant Baptism
14. 1 Corinthians 7:14 in Fathers and Reformers
15. The Donatists in the Sixteenth Century
16. Development and Coherence in Calvin’s Institutes: The Case of Baptism
17. Baptism at the Westminster Assembly
Part C: Towards a Modern Consensus
18. The Baptismal Community
19. One Baptism or Two? Reflections on the History of Christian Baptism
20. Scripture and Evangelical Diversity with Special Reference to the Baptismal Divide
21. Baptism in Scotland
22. Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry (the ‘Lima Report’): An Evangelical Assessment
23. The Lima Report: Baptism and Eucharist Compared
24. Habitats of Infant Baptism
25. Children, Covenant and the Church
26. Recovering Baptism for a New Age of Mission
27. Christian Baptism: Where Do We Go From Here?
David F. Wright is Emeritus Professor of Patristic and Reformed Christianity, New College, University of Edinburgh.
"There is much learned historical scholarship here illuminating the history of the practice of baptism in general and infant baptism in particular. There is also much wise reflection on the pastoral implications of the practice for the church then and now. No one with a serious interest in the doctrine of baptism can afford to neglect this volume." -- Anthony N. S. Lane, Director of Research and Professor of Historical Theology, London School of Theology
"Wright's penetrating historical vision is combined with persuasive arguments for the unduly neglected but critical importance of baptism for the whole church. The result is a book that challenges both the received traditions and current practices, but in the most edifying way imaginable." -- Mark A. Noll, McAnaney Professor of History, University of Notre Dame