In the Vineyard, we practice believer’s baptism. This means that we baptize children or adults after they have made a decision to follow Jesus. Scot McKnight writes It Takes a Church to Baptize: What the Bible Says About Infant Baptism in order to prove why churches should practice baptizing infants. Although the Vineyard does not practice infant baptism I believe that this book helps one to understand this position. In the book, McKnight organizes his book around the litany used in infant baptism in his church. In the Vineyard, rather than baptizing infants, we dedicate them using very similar language to that described in McKnight’s litany for infant baptism. The emphasis which McKnight places on the promises which the church makes to both the infant and the parents is something that it important for us also to hear since our language for baby dedication is so similar. It takes a church to raise children and we should take seriously the promises which we make to children and their families during baby dedication.
The main benefit of this book does is that it discusses the imagery and meaning behind baptism. Regardless of whether a person believes in infant baptism or believer’s baptism, the meaning behind baptism remains the same. If you are looking for a book which explains the common understanding of baptism in the Church as a whole, I would recommend this book.