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Should We Baptize Small Children? Essay

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One of the most debated topics within the Christian churches today is baptism. This debate began during the 16th Century reformation, where on the base of Scripture many theologians separated from the Catholic Church. A prime example of this debated topic can be seen in The Augsburg Confession, "Concerning Baptism." "Concerning baptism they teach that it is necessary for salvation, that the grace of God is offered through baptism, and that children should be baptized... They condemn the Anabaptists who disapprove of the baptism of children and assert that children are saved without baptism." Luther centered his baptism theology on the salvations promises of God. He stressed forgiveness of sins received by baptism when the believer puts his or her trust in that promise. Luther's emphasis on the saving work of Christ Jesus, and his belief that the Church of Rome still had some things right, led him to accept the baptism of infants. Luther saw baptism as a sign of the covenant God had made with us at Calvary. The understanding and acceptance of infant baptism is seen widely throughout by modern Christian denominations such as: Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, and Episcopalians. The idea of infant baptism is contested by some denominations as well including Baptists and many Church of Christ congregations.
The main debate with the issue of baptism is seen in the way Scripture is translated and interpreted. In regards to who is able to be baptized, the mostly debated age group is whether infants are able to be baptized due to them unable to understand the act or truly have faith. Luther begins this section by attempting to let people know this is not a topic worth the arguments. He states in regards to whether in...


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...Stock Publishers, 1972.

Coke, Henry C. Why Baptize Babies. Greenwich, CN: Seabury Press, 1957.

Cottrell, Jack. Baptism: A Biblical Study. Joplin, MO: College Press Publishing Company, 1989.

Fowler, James W. Stages of Faith: The Psychology of Human Development and the Quest for Meaning. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishing, 1981.

Hutchison, Harry Hutchison. Why Baptize Infants? New York, NY: Greenwich Book Publishers, 1957.

Luther, Martin. The Large Catechism, in The Book of Concord. Edited by Robert Kolb and Timothy Wengert. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 2000.

Marcel, Pierre Ch. The Biblical Doctrine of Infant Baptism. Translated by Philip Edgcumbe Hughes. London: James Clarke & Co. LTD., 1953.

Melanchthon, Philip. The Augsburg Confession. In The Book of Concord. Edited by Robert Kolb and Timothy Wengert. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 2000.



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