A pastor friend of mine recently asked me if I knew how to eat chicken. He proceeded to tell me the correct method: you eat the meat and toss the bones. That was much of the process of reading this book. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of meat in this book about the process of becoming a Christian and the life-long pursuit of improvement through Christ as we walk out our faith.
Unfortunately, the overall premise of the book is misguided. The author uses a passage of scripture from Hebrews 6 to define the importance of the doctrine of baptisms. The passage is taken out of context and used to show the importance of baptisms, when the writer of Hebrews, if you view the entire passage, was intending to show that baptisms is an elementary teaching and that in our pursuit of perfection, we should move beyond this to weightier matters.
The author quotes “Let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation…of the doctrine of baptisms.” The full passage reads “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, Let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgement. And this will we do, if God permit”. Hebrews 6:1-3.
The writer of Hebrews intends to press past these basic principles; not to overstate the importance of them. As such, the book begins by using a passage out of context to prove the necessity of understanding the doctrine. And starting with a wrong foundation can lead to believers focusing on the wrong goals.
There is a lot of meat in this book regarding the walking out of our faith through life, but an immature or new believer might fall into confusion by attempting to experience the baptisms as outlined in this book.