Baptismal Theology and Practices and the Spiritual Nurture of Children, Part II: Reformation to the Present

From: Volume 8, Issue 1: Spring 2011, Theological Perspectives Pages 146-163


Baptismal theology and practices have always had a major influence on the educational efforts of the church, either setting expectations for those who are to be baptized or establishing requirements of instruction for children following their baptism. The first article in this series addressed the changes in baptismal theology and practice in the early and medieval church and their influence on the educational ministries of the church of these eras, particularly with children. This second article reviews changes in theology and practice from the Reformation to the present era and their impact on the church’s ministry with children, providing a case study of theological reflection by Horace Bushnell on baptism and the spiritual nurture of children. It closes with recommendations for ministry with children today in light of baptismal beliefs and practices.1



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