Having just read a post on some of Rowan William's thoughts on Ministry and Baptism, I was reminded of this joke about Baptism. The Anglican in the joke is wrong of course, but it's fun.
Two long time friends were walking in the cool of the morning discussing the mode of baptism. Both had graduated seminary at the same time, moved to the same town, and each started their ministries there: One a baptist - the other an anglican
Let's listen in to their conversation:
Anglican: So let me get this straight...you believe a person isn't baptized unless they have been fully immersed in water - is that correct?
Baptist: Correct. We believe in full immersion - not pouring or sprinkling.
Anglican: So if you walked a person into a stream up to their ankles that wouldn't consist in an actual baptism?
Baptist: No sir, no baptism.
Anglican: What if you got them wet up past their knees?
Baptist: Still not good enough.
Anglican: What about if they waded in to their waist? Would you pronounce them baptized?
Baptist: No, no, no...what about immersion do you not understand?
Anglican: Please forgive me, I am slow sometimes...I really do want to understand you and I thank you for your patience. Just a couple of more questions and I'll move onto other edifying topics. What if they were immersed up to their chest?
Anglican: What if they walked all the way in, held their breath, and were up to their eyeballs in water?
Baptist: No, they have to be immersed.
Anglican: I think I understand now...You and I agree after all! Wait until the next PCC meeting!
Baptist: Wha...What do you mean? Did I convince you that immersion is the only way for baptism to be properly administered?
Anglican: On the contrary - you gave me great evidence against it!
Baptist: I did?!?
Anglican: You sure did. You convinced me that getting your feet wet doesn't make one baptized. You convinced me that getting wet up to your knees or waist doesn't make one baptized. You convinced me that being up to your chest or neck in water doesn't make one baptized. You even convinced me that being up to your eyeballs in water doesn't cut it.
Anglican: So what that tells me is that both of us deem water being administered to the head as sufficient to consider one baptized.
More seriously, looks like Rowan William's book is, as ever, well worth reading