Infant Baptism and Korean Methodism


Jeon, Chang Hee

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No one is born as a Christian. One needs a mark to become part of a Christian community. The mark happens by sacraments that declare “what God is doing to bring us to faith.” Christian Baptism is a means to experience and understand the ways “God acts to initiate us into the community of the faithful.” There are variety of stages and sign-acts in Baptism. And they inevitably involve the love of God and the way of expressing it theologically. Many Christian denominations in Korea have their own theology of Christian baptism. Korean Christians seem outwardly to follow their Protestant position in theology. But we sometimes encounter the fact that they used to confuse the nature of Christian baptism. In fact, it is not easy for Korean Protestants to refuse this criticism. Many baptized christians seems not to feel and realize how important their baptism is in their journey as believers. In addition, even though many Christian leaders insist they follows the baptismal theology of the Protestant reformers like Martin Luther and John Calvin, they practically seem to receive Zwingli’s theological concept. Zwingli made some strong points in favor of infant baptism by considering it to be a New Testament ‘covenant sign,’ but, precisely speaking, he merely regarded baptism as a dedicatory sign. In fact, the meaning of baptism is very lightly understood and treated today. In this situation, the theological understanding of infant baptism seems not to be dealt seriously and meaningfully. Furthermore, infant baptism is still a troubling issue today. In this article, it is explored what an infant baptism is and what Korean Methodist Church teaches in terms of infant baptism through analyzing its liturgical documents.


I. Introduction
 II. The Development of Infant Baptism
 1. The Traces of Infant Baptism in the Era of New Testament
 2. The Era after Augustine
 3. The Protestant Reformers and the Anabaptists
 III. Theological Approach to Infant Baptism in Contemporary Practice of Korean Methodism
 IV. Conclusion


  • Jeon, Chang Hee 전창희. Hyupsung University


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