One Baptism: Towards Mutual Recognition is a contribution to the churches’ quest for Christian unity. A decade in the making, it is a study document from the World Council of Churches’ Commission on Faith and Order that invites further dialogue among Christians concerning baptism within the One Church of Jesus Christ. This text takes its place in the long line of Faith and Order Papers, finding inspiration most directly from the 1982 Agreed Statement Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry (BEM) and the churches’ responses to that publication. As BEM affirms: “Through baptism, Christians are brought into union with Christ, with each other and with the Church of every time and space.”
The present study explores the close relationship between baptism and the believer’s life-long growth in Christ, suggesting that this link provides a strong argument for greater mutual recognition of baptism. One Baptism also addresses issues in baptismal understanding and practice which cause controversies within and among churches and hinder mutual recognition. The document is offered to the churches in the hope that fresh perspectives may help to clarify the interrelated challenges of the mutual recognition of baptism and ecclesial recognition, the consequences of putting mutual recognition fully into practice and the remaining issues that prevent such recognition. One Baptism: Towards Mutual Recognition is a key component of Faith and Order’s ongoing work in calling the churches to visible unity in one Lord, one faith, one baptism and one eucharistic fellowship.