Jesus Loves the Little Children

Books defending infant baptism are plentiful. Over the years, many authors have tackled this subject and offered many solid defenses. But this book by United Reformed pastor (in Oceanside, CA) Daniel Hyde is different and the differences make this book worth recommending.

First of all, Pastor Hyde has offered a compilation of the best biblical arguments for the baptism of the infant children of believers. The arguments are offered concisely but with footnotes and references for those who wish to dig deeper. The skeleton is here, so to speak, but those who wish to see more meat on the bones will not have far to look.

Second, the book presents the biblical arguments with a sense of church-historical consciousness. Hyde is especially sensitive to the practices and beliefs of the first sixteen centuries of the Christian church. With his references to Reformed liturgies and creeds, he clearly shows that infant baptism has nothing to do with “popery” and everything to do with the apostolic church.

Finally, so far as I know, this is the only book on the subject that deals with the practice of dedication found in some evangelical circles. Pastor Hyde points out that many of the proof-texts used to support dedication are the same texts used to argue for infant baptism. He calls for consistency, but also points out the far greater richness of baptism – a sacrament that speaks of the sovereign grace of a covenant-making God.

This book could profitably be used in situations (i.e. church planting) where God is bringing in people not (yet) convinced of the infant baptism position. It could also be used for those who, having grown up Reformed, have had doubts planted in their minds. If I would make one small suggestion for an improvement it would be the inclusion of the Bible texts with the “Reformed Confessions on Baptism” in Appendix 1. Aside from that small matter, this is an excellent explanation of “why we baptize children.”

Reviewed by Rev. Dr. Wes Bredenhof

Title: Jesus Loves the Little Children: Why We Baptize Children
Daniel R. Hyde
Publishing data: Grandville: Reformed Fellowship Inc., 2006
Format: Paperback, 104 pages

Republished with permission from Clarion, 56:5 (02-Mar-2007)