Over at New Leaven, T.C. Robinson ponders about the merits of my proposal in EvTh about a dual baptism view whereby churches could accept or even practice both modes of baptism. Robinson concludes:
It’s a valiant proposal. But some Baptists will not find Bird’s proposal satisfactory, concluding that he has fallen short. Why? Because a staple of the Baptist identity is the belief that local church membership is restricted to those who have professed faith in Christ and have publicly identified themselves with Him in believer’s baptism.
I don’t know. I think the essence of baptist ecclesiology isn’t the practice of baptism itself, but the idea of a regenerated membership (good luck with that!). Even the great Baptist leader John Bunyan practiced dual baptism and it does occur in places like the EvFree churches if I’m correct. For me, if you put the doctrine of the gospel over and above the doctrine of baptism, then, I think you’ve got a theological framework in which dual baptism makes a lot of sense. In other words, where the church is gospelized, there you will find the baptized!