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Tuesday, July 21, 2009 

A Great New Book On The Efficacy of Baptism By Kelly Klages

One of my absolute favorite Lutherans out on the interweb is Kelly Klages. Kelly is (among other things, but we’ll get to that in a bit) an exceptionally talented artist whose award winning paintings can be seen at kellyklages.com. Kelly’s paintings are beautiful and I strongly encourage all my readers to pay her art site a visit to see Christian art done in such a way that the faith we hold to is rightly conveyed through the visual means. With so much out there that claims to Christian art dumbing things down to the lowest common theological denominator, it refreshing to see the enormous amount of symbolism in Kelly’s paintings.

She’s married to Pastor Alex Klages and they are proud parents to two lovely children up in Manitoba Canada. Where she finds the time to fulfill her vocation of wife and mom while exercising her talents through her painting or scrapbooking is beyond me but she does it in spades.

But wait there’s more…

Kelly’s also an insightful writer and has written articles for Lutheran Forum and Higher Things Magazine. She’s also, you guessed it a blogger. I became aware of Kelly when I first started participating in the Lutheran Carnival some years back. She’s been a favorite blogger of mine for a while and if you take the opportunity to visit her, she’ll be a favorite of yours as well.

But wait there’s more…

Kelly Klages can now add author to her resume. In her first book “Water with the Word:A Baptism Q&A Explaining the efficacy of Baptism to Christian friends” Kelly on her blog introduced the book this way:

The book is in Q&A format and deals with why Lutherans believe in the efficacy of Baptism and infant Baptism. The questions are frequently-heard ones from those Christians who reject the efficacy of Baptism, mainly stemming from my own initial objections to the concept. Many objections I respond to are straw-men or based on misunderstandings that can be simple to clear up. If disagreement remains with the Lutheran view of Scripture on this matter, that’s fine– my primary aim was for readers to at least dispense with stereotypes or misinformation when considering what we believe about it.

It’s not a scholastic work. I’m a layperson and it’s very much on a lay level, more conversational and extremely simplified.

Having now read “Water with the Word” I can assure you this is a great book! What makes book such a joy to read is that Kelly brings to the table her personal experience of growing up in the conservative Baptist tradition and lays out the case for why “the majority of Christians today and throughout history, accept the efficacy of Baptism (the belief that Baptism itself actually accomplishes something) and recognize the legitimacy of baptizing infants” not based on human reason or our own imaginations but rather from the Scriptures; the very Word of God.

While laid out in a conversational and easy to understand manner I would argue that the only reason Kelly can make the argument that the book is “extremely simplified” is that she handles the material so well it just looks simplified. Yes, the book is that good.

Now, how much would you pay for such a great little book to help you and your neighbors or coworkers work through some complicated doctrinal questions with ease? Well, Kelly is making the PDF version of the book absolutely free. If you want a hard copy you’ll need to pay for that but she isn’t making a single red cent for the effort. To quote Kelly again; “It was a “for fun” project (because some of us have a bizarre idea of “fun”

Myself, I’ll be ordering a hard copy of the book for my library from Lulu, the publisher, through a link set up on her husband’s, Pastor Klages, By the Font website. Kelly’s book would be a great addition to any church library and as soon as I run it by appropriate committee “Water with the Word” will be on my congregation’s library shelves.

Thank you Kelly for all your hard work in putting together and making available this invaluable resource!


Of course, if you want an autographed copy, you could always send $15 along to Kelly and she'd scribble a little something in the front cover for you.

($15 = shipping of $7 from Canada + cost of book)

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  • I'm Frank Gillespie
  • From The Haut South
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