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Living under Water
Baptism as a Way of Life
Kevin J. Adams
Foreword by Cornelius Plantinga

PAPERBACK; Published: 1/25/2022
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7963-9
Price: $ 19.99
266 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 5.5 x 8.5
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Series: Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Liturgical Studies

Our truest identity isn’t something we create or build ourselves.

It’s a gift we receive.

We live under water.

What does baptism mean? And what do we do with it? Kevin Adams—an experienced pastor and church planter who has baptized people of all ages and spiritual origins—makes the case that baptism isn’t merely a one-time ceremony but something to be lived and affirmed throughout one’s life. In Living under Water, Adams shares stories that illustrate how baptism shapes one’s identity and enters us into an alternate narrative, one ongoing since the dawn of creation, through which we understand our truest selves with all our joy and trauma and by which we are united with a group of people unbound by race or language, continent or generation. 

Foregrounding baptism in the lives of Christians means foregrounding baptism in the life of the church. Anchored in both theology and real-world experience, Adams shows how that can happen while engaging honestly with the history (and ongoing reality) of baptism’s corruptions and abuses. This book is for pastors and parishioners of any Christian tradition who long for baptism to be bigger than a set of doctrinal bullet points—nothing less than the gospel story enacted with water.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Baptismal Confidence
Baptismal Identity
          1. The Script for Our Truest Selves
          2. Kiddie-Pool Piety: The Birth of a Life
          3. Drowning in a Coffin: Joining the Suffering
Baptismal Liturgy for Life
          4. Renouncing Evil: Baptism as Exorcism
          5. Baptismal Clothes: Wearing Our Baptism
          6. An Ordained Life: Anointing our Missional Identity
Baptismal Abuse
          7. Identity Politics: Living as Citizens of Heaven and Earth
          8. Forced Baptism: Tales of the Unwilling
          9. Widow Waters: Unknown Hearts Baptizing Unknown Hearts
          10. Race: Failure and Faith
Baptismal Hope
          11. Healing Waters: Parkinson’s and Other Unholy Ailments
          12. One Baptism: Uniting with the Global Church
Epilogue: A Baptized Imagination

“The book can only be described as marvelous—rich with insights and revelations, deeply informative—the wealth of illustrations makes everything alive. It will be described as the best Christian account of baptism. A whale of a book!”
— Cornelius Plantinga
president emeritus of Calvin Theological Seminary