The Baptism of Disciples Alone

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As a former Presbyterian minister, I baptized two of my infants. I was sincere. It was meaningful. I believed that infant baptism (paedobaptism) was biblical. However, I was sincerely and biblically wrong.

Now, I am convinced that the baptism authorized by the Bible is the baptism of disciples. In fact, I believe the Bible authorizes the baptism of disciples alone. This position may also be called credobaptism, from the Latin verb credo, meaning believe or trust. Other designations are believer’s baptism, confessor’s baptism, or professor’s baptism, all synonyms describing the baptism of disciples alone. Hoping to be gracious toward my paedobaptist friends and mentors, the purpose of this book is to prove that the Bible authorizes only disciple’s baptism. This book is also written, however, to help parents, pastors and laymen better understand the Baptist position for credobaptism versus paedobaptism so they can decide which local church to join and serve in.

From the Author’s Preface

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The Baptism of Disciples Alone: A Covenantal Argument for Credobaptism Versus Paedobaptism

by Dr. Fred A. Malone
©2023 by Founders Press
Printed in the United States of America
ISBN: 978-0-9785711-3-9

Additional information

Weight 1.7 lbs
Dimensions 9.25 × 6.25 × 1.0 in





Why Write This Book

The Covenantal Baptist Position Briefly Stated

Part I: Preliminary Principles (Hermeneutics, Authority and Baptism)

1. No Straw Men

2. Biblical Principles of Interpretation and Infant Baptism

Part II: The String of Pearls (Covenant Theology, The New Covenant and Baptism)

3. The Covenant Theology of the Bible (Part 1)

4. The Covenant Theology of the Bible (Part 2)

5. The Relationship between Circumcision and Baptism

6. Household Baptism, “the Oikos Formula” and Infant Baptism

7. Answering the Infant Baptism Proof-Texts

8. Jesus’ Attitude Toward Children

9. The Disjunction of John’s and Jesus’ Baptisms with Christian Baptism

10. The Weight of Precept, the Argument of Silence And the Regulative Principle of Worship

11. The Argument of Expanded Blessings to “Covenant Children”

12. The Testimony of Tradition and the Historical Argument of Silence

13. What Difference Does It Make?

14. Postlude: A Final Appeal to Build Baptist Churches

Appendix A: Spurgeon on Baptism

Appendix B: The Proper Mode of Biblical Baptism

Appendix C: Book Review of The Biblical Doctrine of Infant Baptism by Pierre Marcel

Appendix D: Appendix to the 1689 London Baptist


Appendix E: Book Review of The Case for Covenantal Infant Baptism by Gregg Strawbridge

Appendix F: Extreme Covenantalism Rejected

Selected Bibliography

Index of Subjects

Index of Authors

Index of Scripture References


This book is an exegetical tour de force that is seasoned with pastoral wisdom and costly experience. No one should consider himself sufficiently studied on the subject of baptism until he has read the arguments of this paedobaptist-turned-credobaptist theologian.

Dr. Tom Ascol
Pastor, Grace Baptist Church, Cape Coral, FL
President, Founders Ministries
Author of From The Protestant Reformation to Southern Baptist Convention and Editor of Dear Timothy: Letters On Pastoral Ministry

Fred Malone has examined the issue of credobaptism and paedobaptism from inside and out on both accounts. His defense of credobaptism is written with kindness and understanding along with a firm persuasion of the truth of the baptism of believers only. Exegetically, doctrinally, and ecclesiologically this book gives clarity to a debate that is now some centuries old. The conscientious holders of either doctrinal position will benefit from an honest evaluation of Fred Malone’s carefully developed defense of Believer’s baptism.

Tom J. Nettles
Senior Professor, The Southern Baptist Theologica Seminary
Founding Faculty, Insitute of Public Theology
Author of By His Grace and For His Glory and Praise Is His Gracious Choice

This is the most important book-length argument for the baptism of disciples alone in print today. I know of no other book like it. Its case is built on the sound hermeneutics of the Reformed tradition and the Bible’s covenant theology. Malone writes from a place of deep conviction born out of much wrestling with the Scriptures and its implications for baptism. Though he served comfortably as a Presbyterian pastor for years, Malone changed his position and became a Baptist because his conscience was held captive by the Word of God.

Dr. Tom Hicks
Pastor, First Baptist Church BC Clinton, LA
Visiting Professor of Historical Theology, Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary

Believer’s baptism is a beautiful ordinance given by Christ to His local churches that has sadly also been the focus of much division and controversy among faithful believers over the centuries. In his book, The Baptism of Disciples Alone, Fred Malone provides an accessible, gracious, knowledgeable, and convictional defense of the biblical practice of only admitting those able to give a credible profession of faith to the waters of baptism. He stands firmly upon this truth: ‘Christian baptism is…credobaptism.’ Churches today desiring to continue to reform according to the principles of Scripture, must seek to take Malone’s arguments seriously and apply them faithfully. May this excellent treatment of such an important doctrine be read far and wide by pastors, laypersons, and all those who would seek to have a correct understanding of this wonderful sign and symbol of the Christian faith!

Allen S. Nelson IV
Pastor, Providence Baptist Church, Perryville, AR
Author of From Death to Life: How Salvation Works and A Change of Heart: Understanding Regeneration and Why it Matters

Fred Malone’s The Baptist of Disciples Alone is a classic treatment of baptism by one of the leaders of the Reformed Baptist resurgence of the last 50 years. His experience as a Presbyterian who became a Baptist gives an unusual insight to his treatment. May God give this new edition by Founders Ministries a wide reading.

May God use it greatly!

Dr. Sam Waldron
Pastor, Grace Reformed Baptist Church, Owensboro, KY
President, Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary

Every Baptist will welcome Dr. Malone’s volume as being a new champion of the cause of truth. It should have immense usefulness for pastors ad churches as a tool for teaching covenant theology and as an aid in controversy about the subjects of baptism.

Walter J. Chantry (1938-2022)
Editor, The Banner of Truth Magazine

Fred Malone has written one of the most important books on baptism to appear in a least the last two hundred years—and every thoughtful Christian will find The Baptism of Disciples Alone to be an essential guide to thinking through the debate between what Dr. Malone rightly identifies as the “paedobaptists” and the “credobaptists.” The Lord Jesus Christ set baptism at the center of Christian worship and as the defining mark of Chrsitan identity. Dr. Malone is a scholar and pastor who argues with biblical passion and instructs by personal testimony. He presents his case with the skill of an attorney, the conviction of a theologian, and the care of a faithful pastor—and he is right! We are all in his debt.

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Fred Malone presents the best case I have seen for believers’ baptism from a covenantal perspective. This outstanding book deserves to be widely read and studied by everyone involved in the baptism discussion.

Dr. Timothy George
Founding Dean & Distinguished Professor
Beeson Divinity School, Samford University

About the Author

Dr. Fred A. Malone served as founding pastor of Heritage Baptist Church, Mansfield, TX, from 1982–1993. He then served as Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church, Clinton, LA, from 1993-2020 before retiring in 2020 as Pastor Emeritus. He holds an M.Div. from Reformed Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in New Testament from Southwestern Theological Seminary. Dr. Malone served many years as a founding Board Member of Founders Ministries. He has also served as a Trustee at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and as a Trustee at Louisiana Christian University. He presently serves as a founding Board Member for Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Malone is also the author of A String of Pearls Unstrung and The Founders Study Guide Commentary on Romans (co-authored with Curtis Vaughan). He is the blessed husband of Deborah for 56 years, and the happy father of three children and grandfather of six grandchildren.

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