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Child Dedication: Considered Historically, Theologically, and Pastorally
Najapfour, Brian G.

Child Dedication: Considered Historically, Theologically, and Pastorally

ISBN: 9780988949812
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Brian G. Najapfour is pastor of Dutton United Reformed Church, Caledonia, Michigan, co-editor of Taking Hold of God: Reformed and Puritan Perspectives on Prayer (2011), and author of The Very Heart of Prayer: Reclaiming John Bunyan's Spirituality (2012)


"Ironically, many Protestant churches-particularly those with Baptist convictions-often reject the Reformed practice of infant baptism on the grounds that, at least in their opinion, the Bible, or, primarily the New Testament, is silent regarding the practice. Yet, there is something about the Reformed theology of infant baptism that they desperately want to believe. Thus, the practice of public child dedication has become part of their tradition as a replacement. Brian Najapfour has presented a straightforward and helpful analysis of the practice of child dedication with pointed marks of contrast with covenant baptism. He concurs with the notion that Christian parents should dedicate and consecrate their children to the Lord in thanksgiving for them as God's gift. But, Najapfour demonstrates convincingly that there is no biblical warrant for transforming a private commitment into a public ceremony and thus integrating it into a public worship service. I certainly recommend Najapfour's booklet to those who may be wrestling with the issue. It is a fair, concise, and biblical treatment."
--Dr. Michael Barrett, Academic Dean and Professor of Old Testament, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary

"Though readers may not agree with every conclusion that Najapfour makes, he provides a helpful historical survey and thoughtful biblical reflection on the practice of child dedication. I commend this book to you."
--Dr. Robert L. Plummer, Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"In this brief booklet, Brian Najapfour has written about a matter that is getting a lot of attention in some circles. Some of those who hold to believers' baptism have adopted a practice of child dedication. Out of concern for their infants, they feel a need to dedicate their children to the Lord in a formal way. Perhaps they regard this as an alternative to infant baptism-but is it? Najapfour does not think so. Although he commends his Baptist friends for showing their love and concern for the children God has entrusted to their care, Najapfour convincingly argues that the practice of child dedication cannot be defended on biblical grounds. Nowhere in the Bible do we read that God requires this ceremony of His people."
"Dedicating our children to the Lord is a good thing, but care must be taken lest too much emphasis is placed on the action of parents rather than on God's action towards our children. It is our gracious God who takes believing parents and their children into His covenant and church. This booklet serves as a much needed reminder of this glorious fact."
--Rev. Cornelis (Niel) Pronk, Emeritus Pastor of Free Reformed Church, Brantford, Ontario

"Many Christian churches "dedicate" the children of believers. They do this because they believe there is something different about these children in contrast to the children of the world and because they believe Christian parents have holy duties towards their children. What most churches and parents do not realize is that by engaging in this practice they are doing so for the same reasons Reformed churches baptize their children. If you are wrestling with whether to dedicate or baptize your child, I commend Brian Najapfour's little book to you. It will lead you in what Scripture teaches and lead you in raising your children in the fear and instruction of the Lord."
--Rev. Daniel R. Hyde, Pastor, Oceanside United Reformed Church, Oceanside, California; author, God in Our Midst; Welcome to a Reformed Church; and Why Believe in God?

Additional Information:

Cover: Softcover
Number of Pages: 37
Publisher: Biblical Spirituality Press
Publication Date: 2014
Discussion Questions: Included