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ZwingliAn Introduction to His Thought$
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W. P. Stephens

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198263630

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198263630.001.0001

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(p.85) 9 Baptism

W. P. Stephens

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores Zwingli's view of baptism. There were fundamental elements in Zwingli's theology which made him deny the traditional view that baptism is a means of grace and that it is necessary to salvation. For him, the traditional view questioned the sovereignty of God, the centrality of Christ, and the freedom of the Spirit. Zwingli saw baptism as an initiatory sign, a sign of covenant. In his debate with Anabaptists, he relied in two major propositions for the baptism of infants; that children belong to God and should therefore be baptized and that baptism replaces circumcision. The most remarkable development in Zwingli's position came with the changed view of the covenant.

Keywords:   baptism, parents' pledge, circumcision, Anabaptists, infant baptism

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