Baptism: A Guide to Life From Death by Peter Leithart

It’s hard for me to put my review in words for this book. It’s part of a Christian Essentials series where I had already been blessed by the one on the Lord’s Prayer. I was very intrigued to look into this one about baptism. In the first few pages of the book he reminds us of the challenges of this subject. Around Christianity the battle lines are drawn and people are ready to fight at the drop of a hat. Because that is true, I did not come to this book expecting to read what I would agree with down the line. No, I was happy to learn what others thought. How can the opinions of baptism be so profoundly different?

In light of that approach, I do have a much better view of how others view baptism. Perhaps it would be best to describe the approach of this book as liturgical , which is not my viewpoint. It’s only fair, then, that I put my bias on the table before I tell you what I think might be wrong with this book.

In short, it seems to me that he puts more weight on the back of baptism than it can legitimately bear. There were paragraphs where he described what I would say happened when I received Christ where he made it sound like it happened at baptism. To be fair, I think he would argue that those benefits of Christ rolled over him at baptism. I don’t think that is the case, and so his beautiful prose might lead younger believers to a conclusion that I think would not be beneficial.

But there is another question. Did I enjoy the book? I must confess that I did even with my table full of caveats. There were paragraphs when he would write something where all I could say was, wow, I had never thought of that before. What a blessing! Then the next paragraph I might think, you shouldn’t attach that to baptism! For example, he writes so many beautiful things that the Bible says about water. They are profound! Unfortunately, if it involved water, he was convinced it was about baptism. I think that’s completely over the top, but it was good to refresh my heart about many things the Bible did say even if baptism was not the subject.

I’m sure this book on baptism could be in no way more conflicted than this review! It’s the best I could do. It will be up to you, if you are intrigued or not.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.