Five Views on Infants & Children in the Church

On Monday, April 27, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary will host a free conference titled “Five Views on Infants and Children in the Church.” The conference will be located on the seminary campus in the Hardin Student Center, Room 219. The event will consist of paper presentations by advocates of five major Christian views, and co-sponsored by the NOBTS Baptist Center for Theology and Ministry and the Christian Education Division. The schedule on April 27 will be:

8:30 Refreshments
8:55 Introductions – Dr. Harwood
9:00 Presentation of Eastern Orthodox view, Q&A
10:00 Presentation of Roman Catholic view, Q&A
11:00 Presentation of Lutheran view, Q&A
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Presentation of Presbyterian view, Q&A
2:00 Presentation of Baptist view, Q&A
3:00 Panel Discussion – Dr. Lawson
4:00 Presentation on Children’s Ideas of God – Dr. Peavey
5:00 Conclusion

The presenters for the event will be:

Jason Foster (Ph.D., Durham University) – Advocate for the Eastern Orthodox view. He is Priest of Holy Nativity of our Lord Orthodox Church in Bossier City, Louisiana. He holds master’s degrees from Dallas Theological Seminary, Cranmer Theological House, and Oxford University. His Ph.D. dissertation is titled “Sursum Corda: Ritual and Meaning of the Liturgical Command in the First Five Centuries of the Church.”

Adam Harwood (Ph.D., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) – Co-editor of the book project and advocate for the Baptist view. He is Associate Professor of Theology, Director of the Baptist Center for Theology and Ministry, and Editor of the Journal for Baptist Theology and Ministry at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of The Spiritual Condition of Infants: A Biblical-Historical Survey and Systematic Proposal (Wipf & Stock, 2011).

Kevin E. Lawson (Ed.D., University of Maine) – Panel discussion facilitator and co-editor of the book project. He is Director of the Ph.D. and Ed.D. Programs in Educational Studies, Editor of the Christian Education Journal, and Professor of Christian Education at Biola University’s Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California. He served as a board member of The Society for Children’s Spirituality: Christian Perspectives (2001-12). Among other books, he edited Understanding Children’s Spirituality: Theology, Research, and Practice (Wipf & Stock, 2012).

David Liberto (Ph.D., Marquette University) – Advocate for the Roman Catholic view. He is Professor of Historical and Dogmatic Theology at Notre Dame Seminary and Graduate School of Theology in New Orleans, Louisiana. He has published several articles in academic, peer-reviewed publications and is currently working on a book-length treatment of the psychological analogy of the Trinity.

Donna Peavey (Ph.D., New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary) – Presentation on children’s ideas of God. She is Professor of Christian Education at NOBTS. Her 2003 Ph.D. dissertation addresses the influences of self-image upon children’s images of Jesus. She speaks frequently at training events for Christian educators on the topic of spiritual formation in childhood.

David Scaer (Th.D., Concordia Seminary) – Advocate for the Lutheran view. He is Professor of Systematic Theology and New Testament and Editor of Concordia Theological Quarterly at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Among other works, he is the author of Infant Baptism in Nineteenth Century Lutheran Theology (Concordia, 2011) and contributed to Understanding Four Views on the Lord’s Supper (Zondervan, 2007).

Gregg Strawbridge (Ph.D., University of Southern Mississippi) – Advocate for the Presbyterian view. He is Pastor of All Saints Presbyterian in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and is the Founder and Creative Director of www.WordMp3.com, an online audio library of Christian worldview resources. He edited and contributed to The Case for Covenantal Infant Baptism (P&R, 2003).

Each of the five major Christian views will answer the same four questions:

  1. How are infants and children impacted by sin?
  2. How does God treat people who die in their infancy or childhood?
  3. When and how are children considered members of the church?
  4. When and how are children instructed in Christian doctrine?

The event will not be accessible via webcast, but we plan to compile the presentations for publication in a multiple-views book.

For more information, please contact Dr. Adam Harwood at aharwood (at) nobts.edu.

To register, click here.

The Gospel & Evangelism

I am pleased to announce the release of a new issue of the Journal for Baptist Theology and Ministry, which is available free at www.baptistcenter.net. I co-edited this issue, back-dated to Fall 2014, with NOBTS Professor Preston Nix. The issue contains six articles and thirteen book reviews related to the theme “The Gospel and Evangelism.”

The articles are:

What is the Gospel? by Blake Newsom
Is the Gospel for All People or Only Some People? by Adam Harwood
Does Regeneration Precede Faith? by David L. Allen
What Were the Early SBC Leaders’ View of Salvation?: A View from the Mountains by Emir Caner
Ministry Evangelism by Timothy W. Mims
Spiritual Warfare and Evangelism by Gary Dennis

The Spring 2015 issue of the journal is scheduled to be released next month. The articles will address “Bible Translation as Missions,” the theme of a conference sponsored by three NOBTS research centers in October 2014. Baptist Press article about the event here.

You can view other issues of this online-only journal, papers on Baptist theology and ministry, rare books, and Baptist confessions on the Baptist Center website. I trust you will find these resources and the articles and book reviews to be helpful for your life, study, and ministry.