MYSTICAL WASHING and SPIRITUAL REGENERATION
Infant Baptism and the renewal of the Anglican Way in America
(an important and timely 64 page booklet by Peter Toon on a burning modern topic, available at www.anglicanmarketplace.com ; or in bulk from 1-800-727-1928)
One important theme of this Essay is that the renewal of the biblically-based, classic Anglican Way will not occur until and unless (amongst other important things) Anglicans take seriously the Sacrament of Baptism, and in particular this Sacrament as administered to children, followed by Confirmation. The meaning and purpose of Baptism has been seriously distorted by the leadership of The Episcopal Church over the last thirty years and, further, the Sacrament has often been seriously neglected by those claiming to be “orthodox.”
The Great Commission of Jesus (Matthew 28 & Mark 16) includes going out to preach the Gospel, making converts, baptizing them and teaching them. In current discussion of this Commission and in contemporary theories of church growth, little seems to be made of Baptism, especially that of Infants. In fact, it is as if Baptism is not in the Commission but has been replaced by the need to have a specific experience of Christ (“making a decision”) which one can claim as the beginning of one’s Christian life. In Scripture, the Early Fathers and the classic Reformers it is Baptism that is the real beginning of the Christian life.
In this booklet you will find a clear summary of the teaching concerning Baptism in the Anglican Formularies (Articles, Prayer Book & Catechism); the reasons why Infant Baptism is pleasing to the Lord Jesus; what follows Infant Baptism in Christian initiation and nurture; the relation of Baptism to Regeneration and to Conversion; and a contemporary English form of the services of Baptism and Confirmation from the BCP 1662. It is probable that the latter will be used-in preference to the flawed text in the 1979 Prayer Book- by renewal congregations both inside and outside The Episcopal Church.
The price at www.anglicanmarketplace.com includes package and postage for one copy; for multiple copies at discounted rates call 1-800-PBS-1928, or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The contemporary language BCP Baptism Service in larger print than in the Booklet may be read and downloaded in The Mandate (March-April 2007) at www.pbsusa.org