Thursday, July 17, 2008

Why baptise people of all ages, including infants?

One of aspect that people notice about Lutheran churches is that we baptise people of ages, including infants. Some Christians question whether this is appropriate and at times many Lutheran Christians struggle to explain why it is appropriate biblically. There are a number of places you can turn for such help:

Luther's small and large catechism, section on baptism.

Australian Lutheran College offers a publication online: The teaching and practice of baptism

This document provides answers to the questions

  • What is baptism?

  • What does God do for us in baptism?

  • What makes baptism valid?

  • Who can be baptised?

  • Does the pastor have the final decision about who may be baptised?

  • What are the requirements to be a baptismal sponsor?

  • Why does the church baptise infants?

  • What is the relationship between baptism and faith?

  • Do Christians receive the Holy Spirit in baptism?

  • What is the relationship between baptism and conversion?

  • What is the connection between baptism and mission?

  • What is the function of the Creed and the Lord's prayer in the baptismal rite?

  • What ritual components can be added to emphasise the theology of baptism?

  • What ritual components could be added to emphasise the celebratory character of baptism?
    What are the essential components of the rite?

  • What is an appropriate form of the renunciation and confession for young children who can speak for themselves?

  • The location and use of the baptismal font.

  • How should preparation and instruction for baptism occur?

  • What preparation should occur with regard to infants and small children?

  • What preparation should occur in the case of adults?

  • How can congregations care for the baptised-immediate and long term?

  • How can the church help people remember and commemorate their baptism, and live as baptised people?

Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod offers a short biblical response why they baptise infants at

Lutheran Church Missouri Synod offers a large section on Baptism...responding to many questions including why baptise infants?, History of infant baptism,

Lutheran Renewal movement offers two publications. God's activity of Grace by Dr Morris Vaagenes and 'What about baptism?' by Larry Christenson visit and click on resources

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America offers this short article relating to baptism

Luther Academy offers a book by David Scaer responding to many of the questions and issues that people have regarding baptism

If you have any other resources either your own or those that you know of that you would like to share please feel free to email them to me

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