I have a question on baptism. I have read all the usual stuff by Presbyterians, but I still am bothered by all the historical stuff about Christians and even Jews baptizing by immersion.
What should be determinative as regards the issue of the mode of baptism is not uninspired history but the inspired word of God. Hebrews 9:10 speaks of "divers washings" (Greek: baptismoi, baptisms) which were in use under the O.T. ceremonial law. Three of these are identified, right in this context, as sprinklings (vv. 13, 19, 21; cf. also 11:28, 12:24; 1 Pet. 1:2; Isa. 52:15).
In Acts 1:5 baptism with water is compared with baptism with the Holy Spirit. How was the baptism with the Holy Spirit performed? By "pouring out" (Ac. 2:17-18). That this surely agrees better with sprinkling than with immersion should be evident to all but the closed-minded.
An excellent defense of infant baptism is the book Children of the Promise by Robert R. Booth (Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Publishing, 1995).
"Questions and Answers" is a weekly feature of the OPC website. At least one new question is posted each week, so there should always be something new here for you to read. (For those who would like to look at previous questions and answers, they will continue to be available as well.)
The questions come from individuals like yourself. If you have questions about biblical and theological matters, you are invited to send them by e-mail by using the "Pose a Question" link on the OPC home page or by clicking here.
The purpose of the OPC website's "Questions and Answers" is to respond to biblical and theological questions. Matters of church discipline, disputes, or debates go beyond the scope of our work. We recommend that you present your concerns in these areas to the appropriate judicatory. In most cases this will be to a local pastor, elder, or session. We do not want the website to replace personal involvement in, or commitment to, the local, visible church.
While we will respond to every serious questioner, we are not bound to give a substantive answer to every question, should we deem the question to be beyond the scope of our purpose or our own ability to answer.
You will receive an answer by email. Please be patient as many of our respondents are busy pastors. The response to your question may take up to two weeks. Some of the questions submitted will be chosen to be posted here, along with the corresponding answers.
The answers come from individual ministers in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church expressing their own convictions and do not necessarily represent an "official" position of the Church, especially in areas where the Standards of the Church (the Scriptures and the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms) are silent.
Note that the "Questions and Answers" posted on the site have been editedall personal references are removed, Scripture references may be added, and sometimes portions are expandedto make the questions and answers more useful to a larger audience.