Wednesday, July 11, 2012

LHP Review: Infant Faith and Sola Fide


Scaer, David P. Infant Baptism: In Nineteenth Century Lutheran Theology. St. Louis: Concordia, 2011. 212 Pages. Paper. $35.99. (LHP)

Author David P. Scaer investigates the effects of rationalism and other influences on modern views of Baptism, especially the teachings of Erlangen theologians in the nineteenth century. At the heart of the matter are questions about "infant faith" (fides infantium) and the Reformation principle of "faith alone" (sola fide).
(Publisher's website)

Readers should make careful note of the subtitle: In Nineteenth Century Lutheran Theology. This CPH Peer Reviewed book is a very helpful and very academic survey of how Lutheran theologians in the Nineteenth Century defended the baptism of infants while denying Luther's doctrine of infant faith.
If you are looking for a text defending Luther's teaching about infant faith, see Schlink's The Doctrine of Baptism or The Baptism of Your Child, both from Concordia Publishing House.

I used to think that the main difference between Baptists and Lutherans was baptism. I was wrong.

Klemet Preus' book The Fire and the Staff taught me that the difference is actually the definition of faith. Whose work is it? The Lord's! That's why Titus 3 is an essential part of Luther's Small Catechism.

Christians would also benefit from Luther's treatise on Christian Freedom,
now on sale.

Scaer's book will be helpful to Lutherans (and especially Lutheran pastors) both as we interact with Protestants who do baptize babies, yet deny what the Catechism affirms along with Scripture, and also when we confess all that Scripture gives us to confess about God's work in Holy Baptism when addressing those who reject infant baptism.

The Rev. Paul J Cain is Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming, Headmaster of Martin Luther Grammar School, Yellowstone Circuit Visitor (LCMS Wyoming District), a member of the Board of Directors of The Consortium for Classical and Lutheran Education, Wyoming District Worship Chairman, and Editor of QBR.

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