Friday, October 1, 2010

Possible roots of Baptist Baby Dedication - A. H. Strong

In Key West, Florida, a town of 22,000 inhabitants, infant baptism has a stronger hold than anywhere else at the South. Baptist parents had sometimes gone to the Methodist preacher to have their children baptized. To prevent this, the Baptist pastors established the custom of laying their hands upon the heads of infants in the congregation, and 'blessing' them, i.e., asking God's blessing to rest upon them. But this custom came to be confounded with christening, and was called such. Now the Baptist pastors are having a hard struggle to explain and limit the custom which they themselves have introduced. Perverse human nature will take advantage of even the slightest additions to N. T. prescriptions, and will bring out of the germs of false doctrine a fearful harvest of evil.

found in Augustus Hopkins Strong, Systematic Theology: A Compendium Designed for the Use of Theological Students (1903. repr., Philadelphia: Judson Press, 1960), 957.

I have often wondered where the concept of Baptist baby dedication came from ... could this be it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've also wondered where "baby dedication" came from; I don't remember this being done when I was growing up. This would certainly be a good explanation for this relatively new practice.

We actually have baby dedication services within our church from time to time. However, it should probably be called "parent dedication", since it is basically the parents committing themselves to rearing their children in a Christian home, teaching them God's word and encouraging them to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. And the entire church body commits themselves to helping the parents in this regard.


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