Baptism may be more important than you think. Virtually every Christian tradition practices baptism, but with diverse understandings of its form and meaning. Baptists (and similar traditions) have emphasized the restriction of baptism to confessing believers and immersion as the mode, and they have usually interpreted baptism as a post-conversion act of human obedience, rather than a sacramental means of grace. In this book, a Baptist theologian calls for a reformation of Baptist thought and practice, arguing that a biblical theology of baptism interprets baptism as a sacramental seal of conversion. The book develops the biblical case for this perspective and answers questions about its practical implications. ""Fowler has long facilitated a healthy dialogue on the issue of believer's baptism between two historic disputants: churches of the Stone-Campbell (Restoration) Movement and his own Baptist heritage. His solid work in Baptist history and exegetical honesty has yielded a baptismal understanding more sacramental than the typical American Baptist presentation . . . Rethinking Baptism takes a growing rapprochement in the scholarly academy to the more important arena of pastors and local congregations."" --Robert Kurka, Professor, Theology and Church in Culture, Lincoln Christian University ""This popular exploration of the meaning of believer's baptism is rich and deep. It satisfactorily combines personal testimony with biblical interpretation, theological reflection with practical wisdom. I cannot say I agreed with everything in the book, but without hesitation I can say this is an excellent, profoundly thoughtful study that I highly recommend to anyone desiring to think seriously about the important topic of baptism."" --Michael A.G. Haykin, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary ""Fowler makes an exegetical case for his proposal and answers key questions about his views. While I do not agree with all of Fowler's conclusions, I commend Rethinking Baptism as a winsome, accessible argument for Baptist sacramentalism. --Nathan A. Finn, Dean of the School of Theology and Missions, Professor of Christian Thought and Tradition, Union University ""Fowler has intimate understanding of the course of Baptist understandings of believer's baptism from the 17th century to the present. His proposals here are new and fresh. Baptists (and others ) should take this work seriously in revisiting the theology and meaning of baptism as both an ordinance and sacrament. It is the best book in the field."" --William H. Brackney, M.R. Cherry Distinguished Professor of Christian Thought and Ethics, Acadia University Stanley K. Fowler is Professor of Theological Studies at Heritage College & Seminary in Cambridge, Ontario. He is the author of More Than a Symbol: The British Baptist Recovery of Baptismal Sacramentalism (2002).
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