Washed by God: The Story of Baptism
Baptism is a subject which has caused division and confusion amongst Christians for many years. Jesus included it in his final charge to the disciples. It is clearly important, so why do we spend so much time arguing about it? Karl Deenick follows the threads of symbolic cleansing through both the Old and New Testaments to explain not only what baptism is, what it isn't, and who should be baptised, but that baptism is a God-given sign, not to obscure the gospel, but to make it clearer.
"Baptism is a big and contested topic. You've got issues pertaining to Old Testament circumcision, washing, water, how much water, sprinkle or immerse, do you baptise babies or only adults, lots of exegesis, lots of debates, and several pastoral dilemmas. Thankfully Dr Deenick has provided us with an accessible and judicious analysis of the key texts. Also, with a mixture of theological acumen and pastoral sensitivity, he explains how baptism is, ultimately, a sign of the gospel for the entire family of faith. Easily one of the best books about baptism you will ever read!" – Michael F. Bird, Academic Dean and Lecturer in Theology, Ridley College, Melbourne
"Deenick explains in this fascinating book that all of us need to be washed and cleansed by God, showing that true purification comes through Christ's death and resurrection. At the same time, he makes provocative and in some respects new case for infant baptism based on his understanding of circumcision. Deenick's tone is not polemical but charitable and humble as he makes his case. As a baptist, I remain unconvinced. Still, I encourage all to read with Deenick that we look to Jesus alone for salvation" – Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and Associate Dean, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kentucky
"This book is vintage Deenick! Whatever you believe about baptism, this valuable book will give you many generous doses of biblical theology, biblical evidence, theological cohesion, and pastoral clarity. It will clean up your ideas, expectations, and practices of baptism, and also enrich your views of salvation, and of the church. It is theologically deep, and highly practical. Heartily recommended." – Peter Adam, Vicar Emeritus of St Jude's Carlton, Melbourne and former Principal of Ridley College, Melbourne
"Can more really be said about the age-long debate over baptism? This book makes it clear that more can and should be said. Through a fascinating exploration of biblical themes like circumcision, sacrifice, washing, cleanliness, covenant, and the work of the Spirit, Karl Deenick opens up fresh angles on baptism, no matter which side of the issue you stand on. But what makes this book particularly valuable is that it not only stimulates rigorous thought about baptism in a very accessible way; it does so opening up wonderfully rich perspectives on the gospel itself – the glorious gospel that baptism points to." – Murray Capill, Dean of Ministry Development, Reformed Theological College, Melbourne
"Discussing baptism is like trench warfare: Each side of the debate is more interested in fortifying its own position than listening to the other side. Reading Deenick's book is like stepping out of a trench and climbing up an adjacent hill to view the theological landscape from a fresh point of view. Deenick weaves together a host of biblical texts on circumcision, sacrifice, covenant, and the Spirit in order to demonstrate that, more than anything else, baptism is a sign of the gospel and of the community gathered around God's Messiah, Jesus. If you're tired of hearing the same arguments on baptism reheated and served as leftovers, this book is for you." – Joe Barnard, Pastor, Holyrood Evangelical Church, Edinburgh
Table of Contents:
2. Wash, rinse, repeat
3. Streams of water within
4. The promise of a saviour
5. The saviour is announced
6. The saviour who is here
7. Who should be baptised?
8. How should baptism be done?
9. Washed by God
Books on baptism