Friday, July 31, 2015

Book Review: Going Public by Bobby Jamieson

For centuries there has been a debate on the ordinance of baptism. For some, they believe infants can be baptized as a sign of the covenant while others baptize infants because they are saved by it. For Baptists, we believe that when a person confesses Christ, that person is baptized as a sign of obedience because of his/her confession that Jesus Christ is Lord.

For many Baptist churches, they welcome a new believe into their membership by not only rejoicing in his/her salvation but also in their baptism. One of the things I know some pastors ask when talking to someone who wants to join a church is not only their conversion experience but also if they have been baptized. Bobby Jamieson addresses why baptism and church membership are joined together in his book, Going Public: Why Baptism is Required for Church Membership. Please note that the subtitle of the book mentions that baptism is a requirement from church membership not salvation. The Bible does not teach in anyway shape or fashion that you must be baptized to be saved. The thief on the cross that Jesus said you will be with me in paradise was never baptized which Jamieson mentions in the book.

The title of the book is Going Public, which Jamieson says that baptism is when your faith is made public. Yes, you make a public confession of faith when you receive Jesus but you make it known to everyone in the world including your church that you are a committed follower of Jesus Christ. Jamieson addresses what the New Testament teaches on baptism and how it is the sign of the New Covenant. Jamieson also takes time to address how baptism and the Lord's Supper are link together. Jamieson said baptism is the front door, which means that is how you get into the church, and the Lord's Supper is the family meal.

This book also has some controversy in regards to those who hold the infant baptism few. Can someone, who hold a paedo baptist view, join a church, that holds a credo baptist view? If they do, this will be something called open membership which Jamieson is against. He addresses why he is against open membership and shares why baptism is essential for church membership.

Jamieson has written a book that did not hold back in teaching Biblical truth. Baptism is one of the ordinances of the church that must be handled with care. This is indeed one book that elders and church leaders need to discuss when it comes to church membership. This is will also be good for laypeople in the church to read to understand the connection with church membership and baptism.

Thanks B&H Publishing for letting me review this book.

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