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Thomas White on Discerning a Valid Baptism

The first thing most people think about when they hear the word "Baptist" is believer's baptism by immersion. All Baptists believe that the Bible teaches credobaptism, or the baptism of only individuals who can make a credible profession of faith in Christ. But all immersions are not equal, and historically most Baptists have made an effort to distinguish immersions that follow the New Testament pattern from immersions that depart from biblical precedent. This question of valid vs. invalid (or at least irregular) baptism has been the topic of no small debate in the Baptist blogosphere over the last several months.

Thomas White, interim vice president of student services at Southwestern Seminary, has recently written a White Paper for Baptist Theology entitled "What Makes Baptism Valid?" Dr. White outlines the essential ingredients necessary for a biblical baptism. He also includes a very helpful discussion about church validity vs. invalidity, a crucial element in the baptism debate. Be sure to check out this very informative essay.

For those of you who may be interested in more information on the church validity debate, see Bart Barber's onoing series "Recognizing a Real Church" at his blog, Praisegod Barebones.