It has been quite a journey for me.
I often debated Anglicans, Methodists, and Presbyterians on the matter of baptism, and concluded that their practice of infant baptism was based on weak arguments–derived from the Old Testament.
The Mode of Baptism. I’ve blogged here that the import of baptism in the New Testament is not its mode–whether immersion or sprinkling or pouring–but rather its symbolism as a ceremonial cleansing. The amount of water used is inconsequential.
When it came to baptism, as a Baptist, I could only think of going under and coming out of water, to symbolize dying and rising with Christ, with Romans 6:3-4 as proof text. But I’ve come to learn that baptism in the New Testament is so much more than its mode.
The Subjects of Baptism. The proper subjects of baptism could only be those who have made a profession of faith in Christ. This is what I saw in the New Testament and continued to see for a very long time. I could see nothing else.
But then I continued to study and pour over covenant theology. I began to make several discoveries: (1) the unity of Scripture–both Old and New Testaments are held together by covenant theology. (2) the people of God. There is only one people of God under both Old and New Testaments. (3) the essence of the sacraments (circumcision and Passover in the OT and baptism and Lord’s Supper in the NT).
Moreover, in redemptive history, God calls whole households and covenants with them. This is the evidence of the Old Testament. And I’m now convinced that this is how we should read those household baptisms in Acts and Paul’s writings.
Who should be baptized? Baptism is not only to be administered to those who profess faith in Christ, but to their infants as well.
Conclusion. I did not come to these conclusions lightly. Over a period of time I wrestled with these issues until I had to follow my convictions. I will continue to look to the Lord for his guidance and shalom in all matters of theology.