November 7, 2009

An Apologia For Triple Immersion In Baptism

I was made aware by the website of a book titled A History of the Modes of Christian Baptism written by James Chrystal, a convert to Orthodoxy from Episcopalianism. It was written in 1861 and in the Preface, Chrystal himself described the book as “an apology for the belief of the early Church, that Christ enjoined triune immersion.” Chrystal argued that sprinkling – the form of baptism practiced by both Roman Catholics and Anglicans – was insufficient and contrary to Christ’s teaching. The Orthodox Church, he concluded, had alone preserved the correct practice. He had come to this conclusion while still an Episcopalian.

Eventually Chrystal travelled to Greece and received this correct baptism, but his life became pretty sketchy as far as other elements of dogmatic affiliation with Orthodoxy are concerned. You can read about that here. But this does not take away from the significance of the text on baptism above.