Baptism, the Believer’s First Obedience by Larry E. Dyer

Dr. Dyer has done the church a service by publishing this fine little volume on baptism. He explains, in simple language, what baptism means and why the believer should be baptized. Along the way, he explains the mode of baptism and some helpful hints for both the one being baptized and the baptizer. This is an excellent book to hand to candidates for baptism to explain clearly this important doctrine.

For the more technical minded, the author deals with a number of issues that have divided the church:

  1. He defends the immersion mode of baptism.
  2. He rejects infant baptism, promoting only believer’s baptism.
  3. He explains the true meaning of the major passages used to support baptismal regeneration.

My only disagreement with Dyer would be in his understanding of modern day Lutheran theology being in opposition with Martin Luther’s view (p.33). Unfortunately, Luther, who did teach that salvation was on the basis of grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, never broke from infant baptism as a component of salvation. The contradiction lies with Luther himself, who believed so strongly in sola fide while still subscribing to baptismal regeneration (see Luther’s Shorter Catechism), not with Luther and Lutheran theology.

Baptism, the Believer’s First Obedience is an excellent tool that I will use on a regular basis with those interested in baptism.