Tom Schreiner and Shawn Wright have done the church an excellent service by co-editing a volume called Believer’s Baptism: Sign of the New Covenant in Christ with Broadman and Holman. The book’s description (from Amazon):
Is believer’s baptism the clear teaching of the New Testament Scriptures? What are the historical and theological challenges to believer’s baptism? What are the practical applications for believer’s baptism today? Volume two in the NEW AMERICAN COMMENTARY STUDIES IN BIBLE & THEOLOGY (NACSBT) series for pastors, advanced Bible students, and other deeply committed laypersons addresses these compelling questions.
Indeed, Believer’s Baptism begins with the belief that believer’s baptism (as opposed to infant baptism or other faith proclaiming methods) is the clear teaching of the New Testament. Along the way, the argument is supported by written contributions from Andreas Kostenberger, Robert Stein, Thomas Schreiner, Stephen Wellum, Steve McKinion, Jonathan Rainbow, Shawn Wright, and Mark Dever.
This issue is of great contemporary importance, as some baptist churches in our day have sought to downplay baptist distinctives. Dr. Albet Mohler’s article on theological “triage” is helpful. He distinguishes between first order issues (on which salvation hinges), second order issue (which should determine church or seminary affiliation), and third order issues (which would not prevent Christians from joining together in a covenant community). He characterizes the bodily resurrection of Christ as a first order issue, believers baptism and the ordination of women as a second order issue, and eschatology as a third order issue. Southern Seminary actually dedicated their entire Fall 2005 magazine to Baptist identity, and why it matters.
As a baptist by conviction, I applaud the arrival of this volume.
(HT: Justin Taylor)