The Rites of Christian Initiation

Karen B. Westerfield Tucker

in American Methodist Worship

Published in print April 2001 | ISBN: 9780195126983
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834754 | DOI:

Series: Religion in America

The Rites of Christian Initiation

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Tensions occur when a church practices infant baptism but also expects personal faith or even an experience of conversion from its members. Methodists in America struggled theologically with the meaning and purpose of baptism for both infants and adults, especially regarding the issues of original sin, baptismal regeneration, and the connection between baptism and church membership. The theological positions reached on the sacrament were often honed from controversies with other Christians, who pressed the Methodists regarding the subjects and modes of baptism. Methodist baptismal rites saw significant alterations, and new rites related to Christian initiation developed for membership, confirmation, and baptismal renewal.

Keywords: adults; baptism; baptismal regeneration; baptismal rites; Christian initiation; church membership; confirmation; conversion; infants; original sin; sacrament

Chapter.  18436 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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