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Children of the Promise: The Biblical Case for Infant Baptism [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   190
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.44" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.52"
Weight:   0.55 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 1, 1995
Publisher   P & R Publishing
ISBN  0875521657  
EAN  9780875521657  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
In his ten-year ministry, he had put off studying the topic of baptism. Then the Baptist pastor felt his heart sink as he began to see how Scripture challenged his long-held beliefs. What would prompt him to change hsi views- and find great encouragement in the doctrine of infant baptism? Are there good biblical reasons to baptize the children of believers? What does the Bible say about your children? Robert R. Booth answers these questions by carefully unveiling the covenant promises of God to Christian parents and their households. Robert R. Booth received a Bachelor of Science in history from East Texas State University and is currently a graduate student at teh Southern California Center for Christian Studies, where he also serves as program coordinator. Formerly a Baptist pastor for ten years, he now is pastor of Grace Covenant Church, and evangelical and presbyterian church.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Avoids the real issue and misrepresents dispensationalism  Sep 12, 2005
In Acts 15:1 Luke writes, And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved." They had a big summit meeting on this in Jerusalem. Was their conclusion to tell the gentiles that we no longer practice circumcision because it has been replaced by infant baptism? No, the response is found in verse 29, "that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality." Why did not one person stand up for infant baptism. Furthermore, if infant baptism is such an important doctrine, replacing circumcision, which is mentioned hundreds of times, why is infant baptism not mentioned even once anywhere in the Bible?
Randy Booth, who should know better as a former Baptist pastor, misrepresents virtually everything dispensationalists believe. On page 18 and 19 he says that "the dispensational method of interpretation emphasizes discontinuity between the Old and New Testaments." We do not. You can not understand the good news of the New Testament without first understanding the bad news of the Old Testament. On page 28. Booth asks, "Has God one plan of redemption (covenantal), or has he had more than one plan (dispensational)?" I have never known a dispensationalist to teach that. People have always been saved in exactly the same way, through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and through faith in Him alone.
These are just a couple of the many misrepresentations presented in this book. If I believed that is what the Baptist taught, I would have left them too.
doesn't cover the whole issue  Dec 10, 2003
Booth makes a good case for infant baptism vis a vis dispensationalism, but infant baptism does not necessarily turn on this issue, as Paul Jewett demonstrates in Infant Baptism and the Covenant of Grace. I would recommend that Jewett's book be read along with this one to get a better sense of all the issues involved.
Helpful Introduction to Infant Baptism  Jun 16, 2003
Robert (Randy) Booth, a former Baptist, has put together a fairly compelling case for the practice of infant baptism in a way that is very accessible to the general reader and those new to the debate. More than just a book about baptism, however, this is also a good introduction to Covenant Theology in general, which the author contends is at the heart of case for infant baptism. Contrary to the popular sentiment among many Christians today, that the debate over baptism is some pedantic argument over theological trivialities, Booth points out that one's position on baptism is controlled by fundamental assumptions about how the Bible ought to be interpreted; especially with reference to the relationship between the Old and New Covenants. To his credit Booth remains respectful and gracious throughout to those who disagree with him.

Choosing to build his case on biblical and theological grounds, Booth includes an Appendix which contains the argument from church history for infant baptism, by Samuel Miller. A second Appendix contains a table listing the similarities between circumcision and baptism, along with scriptural references.

Unfortunately this text uses end notes rather than footnotes, forcing the reader to flip back and forth to the end of the chapter to reference a citation. A selected bibliography of works would also have been a helpful addition for those wanting to do further research.

While no one should conclude that this is the definitive work on the subject (some of the other reviews notwithstanding) it is nonetheless a helpful and readable introduction to Covenant Theology, and the general case that can be made for infant baptism.

Why I am now a former Baptist  May 6, 2001
I said in my review of Douglas Wilson's To a Thousand Generations that it was one of two books that finally convinced me of the paedobaptist position. This is the other one.

Before I read this book, I was a Baptist, albeit one who had already accepted the basic premises of Covenant Theology.

Booth doesn't merely address baptism in this book. The first part of it is a cogent explanation of Covenant Theology. If every Dispensationalist would read this book, perhaps we would stop "talking past each other." ...

Booth's writing style is easy to read, and the vignettes presented with each chapter do a great job of illustrating his points.

If you are a Baptist with questions on the subject, you owe it to yourself to read this book. If you already believe in paedobaptism, this book should help you understand why.

Review by Fred A Malone  Sep 16, 2000
Children of the Promise is an attractive and well-presented argumentfor the paedobaptist position. Formerly a Baptist pastor, Booth writessimply and with the sensitivity of one who has wrestled seriously with the doctrine of baptism, settling into the paedobaptist position. His call for charity toward one another with open Bibles is a needed call which resonates with every true Christian.

Developing his argument along the lines of a theology of the biblical covenants, Booth argues that the Old Testament "covenants of promise" were an unfolding of the one covenant of grace. Therefore, to Booth, the covenant of grace, by definition, includes the household and its children as did the covenants of promise. From this assumption and inference, Booth concludes that the New Covenant, as the fulfillment of those Old Testament covenants of promise, must also include the household and its children by definition. Therefore, just as the household children were circumcised in the covenants of promise, so the household children of the New Covenant receive the sign and seal of baptism.

This line of reasoning is Booth's primary argument. To prohibit household children from the sign of baptism would require for Booth a specific statement prohibiting them, even if the instituted commands and examples of baptism in the New Testament described "disciples only" baptism. For Booth, positive instituted New Testament revelation cannot override logical inference from the Old Testament.

Booth includes an appendix entitled "Samuel Miller's Argument from Church History," even though Pierre Marcel (The Biblical Doctrine of Infant Baptism, see review in Founders Journal 35) denies that such an argument is worthy of use in the debate on baptism. Miller argues that from Tertullian forward, infant baptism was the accepted practice of the church until the Anabaptists arose, thus establishing the supposed apostolic tradition of infant baptism.

Typical of paedobaptist arguments, neither Booth nor Miller discuss the importance of the Didache (100-125 A. D.), the earliest tradition of the apostles outside of the New Testament, which actually is a church manual giving directions for how baptism should be practiced. Yet it only describes the baptism of disciples, a glaring omission if infant baptism were practiced. Miller's essay is a weak presentation of the historical argument.

Another appendix has Booth's chart of the similarities between circumcision and baptism. While Baptists recognize many of Booth's comparisons (ie., cleansing and regeneration), he misses the most important point of his own comparison: that circumcision was an Old Testament type of which regeneration, not baptism, is the antitype (Rom. 2:27; Phil. 3:3; Col. 2:11-12).

Baptism is the new sign given in the New Covenant to those who have repented and believed as evidence of that regeneration (heart circumcision) and membership in the effectual New Covenant (Heb. 8:8-12). It is retrospective of the antitypical reality of which circumcision was the type. Booth does not understand that the connection between circumcision and baptism is that of prospective and retrospective signs of the reality they both symbolize, the regeneration of the heart. This is why Holy Spirit regeneration is called the "seal" in the New Testament (Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30; 2 Cor. 1:20), not baptism, as Booth claims. It is perfectly plausible for the prospective sign to be required typically of the Old Testament people of God while reserved antitypically and retrospectively for the New Testament people of God in the fulfillment. And this is exactly what the biblical evidence presents against Booth's logical inference.....

All in all, Booth's attempt to justify infant baptism is valiant if exegetically and logically flawed. One has trouble believing that all paedobaptists would even agree with his definition of a covenant (John Owen does not), which is a fundamental issue. If one were looking for a good argument to become a paedobaptist, and if one felt comfort reading of a former Baptist's theological journey, then one might become convinced by Booth's presentation to leave the trials of reforming a difficult Baptist church, or denomination, and to seek the safe haven of paedobaptist service and ministry. But if one is looking for sound hermeneutics and exegesis, an understanding and refutation of the covenantal Baptist position, and a better argument for infant baptism, this book will sadly disappoint.


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