Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary
Believer’s Baptism: Sign of the New Covenant in Christ
Submitted to Professor Larry McDonald
In Partial Fulfillment
Of the Requirements for the Course
September 8, 2012
Believer’s Baptism: Sign of the New Covenant in Christ. Thomas R. Schreiner & Shawn
D. Wright. Nashville: B & H, 2007. 359 pages. Reviewed by Matt B. Dover
Thomas R. Schreiner is the professor of New Testament Interpretation and the Associate Dean of Scripture and Interpretation at the Southern Baptist Theological ...view middle of the document...
Kostenberger takes an in depth look at Jewish proselyte baptisms, which he feels stands as a predecessor to the baptism laid out in the gospels. He says of Jewish proselyte baptism, “It appears that the import of this practice was both purifactory-Gentiles were generally considered to be ritually unclean and in need of purification- and initiatory. Also, proselyte baptism conveyed the notion of a conversion to a new kind of life, which involved the proselyte’s acceptance of the ‘yoke of the Torah.’ Hence, the initiation represented a commitment, as well as bestowing certain benefits.”(12) This lines up with the thesis of the book and supports a need for the historical recovery and significance of the believer’s baptism as this serves as a foreshadow of what would be implied through baptism after confession of salvation in the believer. Chapter one also covers the gospels of the cannon and shows that the majority of the referenced materials regarding baptism were about the role and baptism of John the Baptist. It further shows how John’s baptism was a way of preparing the people to accept and receive Jesus Christ through repentance. This chapter also covered the baptism works of the disciples and the coming baptism promised by Christ regarding the baptism through fire found in the book of Acts. No evidence was provided in any of these instances that would support or validate infant baptism, which agrees with and confirms the author’s thesis. Instead, this chapter shows how baptism worked in the role of discipleship. He states, “This is clear from the Matthean ‘Great Commission’ passage, where disciples-making is said to consist of baptizing converts and of teaching them to obey the commands of Jesus.” (33) The author ends this chapter with a look at the proof of an immersion-based baptism. He states, “This is suggested by the root meaning of the word bapto, ‘to dip’, of which baptizo, ‘to baptize’, is an intensive or frequent form.”(34) This again supporting and validating the thesis of the book developed by the author.
Chapter two, which is written by Robert H. Stein, addresses baptism in the gospels of Luke and Acts. In this chapter Stein works to show that baptism is to be administered by the church to the repentant believers as a proof or sign of the believer’s confession of faith. Stein also works to address the special cases of baptism for Cornelius and the Samaritan Christians, in relationship to the receiving of the Holy Spirit. Stein also agrees with the stated thesis of the author, that baptism is not intended for infants, as these practices were not carried out in the book of Acts. Stein states, “No infant is described as being brought and experiencing baptism in Acts. The assumption that in the family conversions and baptisms in Acts infants were present and involved is ultimately unconvincing for they are not referred to in the description of the family, and those baptized in such family baptisms are described in...