The controversy over Rodney Kennedy’s decision to baptize a baby has been fascinating. The prominent American Baptist pastor told RNS that he is “no longer interested whether confession of faith comes before or after baptism,” given the larger issues facing the church. Many other Baptists, especially Southern Baptists, very much disagree. “The Christian community needs to have a conversation about baptism,” said Kennedy. We’ve had one, actually.
Scholars who devote themselves to interpreting Baptist tradition must contend with a community that is not sure it has one.
When I left North Carolina at age 22, I never planned to be back in a Baptist church. Years later, here I am.