Concerned about the ""baptismal malaise"" plaguing the churches, the author examines the causes of this situation and proposes guidelines for the recovery of significance for the rite. He regards baptism, in its character as the rite of initiation into Christ and His church and as an ethical act, and accuses ecumenists and theologians alike of neglecting the moral and ethical implications of the sacrament. The Scriptural, historical, and theological bases for Infant Baptism and Believers' Baptism are examined and compared, and the contradictions which have crept into the position taken by various branches of the church- out of their adapting to considerations of expediency- are pointed out. The abuses of baptism in differing ideas of church structure, evangelism, education, worship, and ecumenicity are scrutinized sharply. Although, as minister of the Watts Street Baptist Church, of Durham, N.C., the author's inclinations are favorable to adult baptism, he grants no favoritism to any who take a position on the question out of unexamined, and often irresponsible reliance on tradition. Theological sources are widely and skillfully drawn upon. The tone is spirited and the style clear and readable. A very useful book for both clergy and laity who are led to think searchingly about this Christian rite.