John Crawford’s Baptism is Not Enough

A few years ago I got a call from a stranger to discuss a struggle. John Crawford was the son of a prominent Baptist pastor struggling with the doctrine of the covenant. Could he really embrace covenantal infant baptism as a Baptist pastor’s son? He struggled with the same thing I did: the nature and recipients of the new covenant. After a few years and a couple wonderful visits to Lancaster Co., John came to a firm conclusion. Not only did he resolve it in his own mind with his lovely family, he wrote it all up in, Baptism is Not Enough: How Understanding God’s Covenant Explains Everything, with a foreword by Douglas Wilson. This very useful book of less than 150 pages, published by American Vision, also includes a 30 minute video of a discussion with John. The video brings you into a very personal engagement with John. You get a sense of his personality and passion.

Baptism is Not Enough is a very readable introduction, not simply to the issues relating to baptism, but especially in understanding the biblical concept of covenant. In fact, that’s the main argument of the book: until you understand the biblical concept of the covenant, then don’t even try to understand baptism. I agree. Here is the chapter sequence:

  • Covenant at Creation
  • Three Covenant Institutions
  • Covenant Structure and Children in the Old Testament
  • Covenant Structure and Children in the New Testament
  • New Covenant Texts Revisited
  • Covenant Structure and the Whole Gospel

If you are looking for a good study of the covenant and a great introduction to the Reformed, covenantal understanding of baptism, this is it.

Published by

Gregg Strawbridge

Rev. Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D. is the pastor of All Saints Church in the Lancaster, PA area.

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