Sunday, February 28, 2010

Adoniram Judson on Christian Baptism

I recently finished the book Adoniram Judson on Christian Baptism. The book contains a sermon he preached before his baptism in Calcutta in 1812. Also included are letters written by Judson regarding his change in his position on baptism as well as an article by C.H. Spurgeon on baptisim and other material relating to this subject.

What needs to be understood about Judson’s change in position on baptism, from paedobaptism (infant baptism) to credobaptism (believer's baptism), is that this was done after his leaving for India with his support coming from a Congregationalist church that held to paedobaptism.  The letters included in this book reveal that he understood that his change in position would cost him his support but he also knew that what was most important was to be biblically correct. Thus his change was not done flippantly or without cost but was done as a result of him asking himself what scripture said about baptism. We too should ask this same question about all that we believe.

I would encourage both those that hold to infant baptism as well as believer’s baptism to read this book.  It is important to see the struggle that Judson went through as far too many people hold to their view on baptism based more on tradition than themselves doing the hard work of seeking out scripture.  I am not saying this is true of everyone but as with many doctrines far too many people take other people’s conclusions rather than seeing what scripture says for themselves.  Others opinions and finding are important but as with all things we are to take all of this and filter it through God’s word as the final court of arbitration.

In recommending this book my intention is not to start a debate over baptism but to encourage all that hold to whatever position they hold to make sure they themselves have worked through scripture to come to their conclusions.  So, read this book and search out scripture.

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