As a theological student in Finland, Dr. Saarnivaara became interested in the question of Scriptural baptism. Which baptism, he wondered, had the most authority: the one a person received in infancy, or the one received as an adult after a conscious conversion. Should he, as one who had been baptized in infancy, be baptized again, after his conversion, in order to be a Christian in the Biblical sense, or was the baptism he received as a child valid?
In seeking an answer, he studied the Bible and the copious literature on both sides of the question. Now, in this book, cast in dialog form, Dr. Saarnivaara offers the result of his study, examining the question exhaustively from both sides.
Some of the questions which are thoroughly discussed are:
Was infant baptism practiced in the time of Christ and the Apostles?
Did Christ want His Church to practice infant baptism, or baptism after conscious conversion?
Does the New Testament teach baptism as a means of grace, or as an act of obedience and confession of faith?
What does the Bible teach as the relationship between baptism and regeneration?
What was the practice and teaching of the post-Apostolic and the Ancient Church?
What was the original method of baptism: immersion or pouring (or sprinkling)?
In developing his theme, Dr. Saarnivaara has set forth the pros and cons of this age-old and still acute problem with admirable exactitude and lucidity. It is easy for the layperson to comprehend, but it is not superficial reading. From the thousands who regard religious problems like baptism worthy of thoughtful consideration and study, however, Dr. Saarnivaara's book should receive keen attention.