and Their Seed
by Herman Hoeksema
Children in the
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Believers and Their Seed is not a book designed
to prove infant baptism over against the baptist position. It is a book
for those already convicted of the truth that "The baptism of young
children is … to be retained in the church, as most agreeable with the
institution of Christ" (Article 24 of the Thirty-Nine Articles).
Herman Hoeksema grounds infant baptism in the covenant of grace with
believers and their seed which in turn is rooted in the covenant life of
the Triune God, "a life of the most intimate communion of love and
friendship, resting in the unity of God’s Being and living through the
personal distinction[s]" of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (p. 61).
As well as grounding infant baptism in God’s covenant,
Hoeksema draws out the relationship between infant baptism and election
and the doctrines of grace. Thus he opposes a "conditional" covenant (chs.
1-2) and baptismal regeneration (chs. 3-4) and deals with the difficult
pastoral issue of covenant children who die in infancy (ch. 11).
Believers and Their Seed has helped a lot of
people understand infant baptism more deeply and been of great comfort to
believing parents. The proper understanding of the covenant also helps to
preserve Reformed, Presbyterian, Anglican and Congregational churches from
the incursion of baptistic thinking (pp. 4-5) and the modern practice of
infant "dedication" services. For those less familiar with some of the
controversies between paedobaptists (chs. 1-4), it may be best to read the
positive treatment of God’s covenant and infant baptism first (chs. 5-11).
This book can also be
Click here to read a review in the Standard Bearer.
Click here to read this book in Dutch.
Click to read
chapter 5 and
chapter 6 in Italian.
"I found Believers and Their Seed by H. Hoeksema
really lovely." - Yorkshire, England