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Remembering Our Baptism by Philip R. Meadows 

 

There are many great books about baptism and the reasons for it, but for me this did something different – it helped me long for more of God

 


Remembering our BaptismRemembering Our Baptism
By Philip R. Meadows
Upper Room 
ISBN: 978-0881778885
Reviewer: Matt Wright

 
This is an important book, accessible to all baptised Christians. It makes no distinction between believer’s baptism or christening, making the scope for the readership wider. Some Baptists may balk at that, and wonder why I, as a Baptist by conviction and a Baptist minister at that, may recommend a book about baptism which doesn’t advocate believer’s baptism specifically. I hope the rest of this review will show the significance this book has.
 
The subtitle, ‘Discipleship and Mission in the Wesleyan Spirit’, shows where Meadows is coming from – he is cofounder and International Director of the Inspire Movement which is based on Wesleyan principles. Though he never intended to start a denomination, John Wesley is widely regarded as someone who got mission and discipleship right, and this book follows Wesleyan (not Methodist Church) principles for remembering our baptismal promises and living in the light of them.
 
I imagine that we in our churches are enthusiastic about seeing people saved, baptised and discipled, and rightly so! I also imagine that where we tend to struggle is how to help people remember the promises they made in baptism, and how to live them - in other words, to live as disciples who make disciples, as we are called to by Jesus. Meadows challenges us to ‘live wet’, with both the Great Commandment and Great Commission in our hearts, saying “The aim of any baptising church must be more than making members or even converts, but nurturing whole-life and lifelong followers of Jesus.”

If we are honest, none of our programmes or courses will achieve this aim. There are many great books about baptism and the reasons for it, but for me this did something different – it helped me long for more of God, and to seek a life of deeper intimacy with him and greater fruitfulness for him.

Meadows challenges readers to take responsibility for their own discipleship by remembering their own baptism whilst remembering John Wesley’s words: “There is no such thing as a solitary Christian.” Baptism is one part of the life Jesus called us to as his followers, and it is about both mission and discipleship. For the journey we need help from the Holy Spirit, Christian friends and church family. The importance and role of each is covered here.
 
There are questions at the end of each chapter which could be used for personal reflection, but they are aimed at group discussion. As such I will be using this book for discussion groups, to enthuse people who have been baptised to remember what they promised and to find fresh inspiration for how to live it. 
 
I’m challenged as to how we in our churches remember our baptisms, and to what it means for us to live as baptised Christians each day. Read, and discuss!


Matt Wright, minister for missional discipleship at South Parade Baptist Church

 

Baptist Times, 27/01/2020
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'The author shows a generous spirit and deserves our respect as a visionary leader, but his book fails to impress'
?Part memoir, part social and theological commentary, this book is both a heartfelt lament about the state of faith and race, and a rousing rallying cry for the Church to do better. It is a call that badly needs to be heeded - and acted upon
While this book asks good questions about the Bible, the answers fail to satisfy
The book asks the question ‘does messy church create an environment that is likely to sustain lifelong, intentional Jesus-centred living for all ages?’
Bob Hartman is a master story-teller who brings us right into the world of Jesus with engaging characters that we can identify with - every household and church should have copies of this
A reminder for all of us to understand the nature of the neighbourhood and the essential requirements of the local church to meet it adequately
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