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Baptist Ways: A History Paperback – June 30, 2003


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Baptist Ways: A History + The Baptist Way: Distinctives of a Baptist Church + Biblical Foundations for Baptist Churches: A Contemporary Ecclesiology
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Judson Pr (June 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0817012311
  • ISBN-13: 978-0817012311
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #519,739 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“We are in Bill Leonard’s debt for accomplishing this almost impossible feat [a one-volume Baptist history] in an admirable fashion.” --Baptist History and Heritage Journal

“With this new book, [Leonard] has done a tremendous service to all who teach Baptist history courses in colleges, seminaries, and divinity schools.” --CHOICE, Current Reviews for Academic Libraries

“Suitable for both the classroom and the living room, this volume reflects a sensitivity to Baptist diversity at a time when Baptists are increasingly polarized. As a one volume introduction to Baptist history, Baptist Ways is a must-read and a worthy successor to previous Baptist surveys.” --Bruce Gourley, The Baptist Studies Bulletin

About the Author

Bill J. Leonard holds the James and Marilyn Dunn Chair of Baptist Studies at the Wake Forest University School of Divinity where he was the founding dean. In 2010 he retired as dean but continued to teach church history in the divinity school and the religion department of the university.

Prior to joining the faculty of Wake Forest in 1996, Leonard served as Professor of Church History at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky, 1975񮖘. While there he was for a time Associate Dean, president of the Faculty Association, editor of the Review and Expositor, and W. W. Brooks Professor of American Religion. From 1992 to 1996 he was Chair of the Department of Religion and Philosophy at Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama.

Leonard is the author or editor of some 15 books including The Nature of the Church; Word of God Across the Ages:Using Church History in Preaching; God’s Last and Only Hope:The Fragmentation of the Southern Baptist Convention; Appalachian Christianity:Profiles in Regional Pluralism; Baptist Ways:A History; and Baptists in America. His most recent books are Baptist Questions, Baptist Answers, and The Baptist Bible (co-editor), both published in 2009. Leonard is also the author of over 400 articles published in a variety of journals, periodicals and books.

Dr. Leonard holds a BA from Texas Wesleyan College 񢈰), an MDiv from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary 񢈳), and a PhD from Boston University 񢈷).

His spouse, Dr. Candyce Crew Leonard, is professor of Humanities at Wake Forest University with specialization in Spanish literature. They have one daughter, Stephanie. The Leonards are members of First Baptist Church, Highland Avenue, the oldest African American Baptist congregation in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By K. Vaughn on January 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
Baptist Ways: a History. Bill J. Leonard, Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 2003. Paper, 480 pages. ISBN 0-8170-1231-1
Bill J. Leonard is dean and professor of church history at Wake Forest University Divinity School, Winston-Salem, NC. He is the editor or author of fifteen books.

In his introduction, Mr. Leonard discusses the problem of defining a people as diverse as the Baptists. His approach views Baptist history through "eight dialectics", seeing "classic distinctives as dynamics moving in tandem across a wide spectrum of belief and practice." (p. 16) He briefly recites various views of Baptist origins. Since Leonard believes the Baptist denomination is an outgrowth of English Puritanism, he begins in the 17th century and brings Baptists forward chronologically to the present. The book consists of 16 chapters, for the most part moving back and forth between British and American Baptists, introducing other areas at appropriate times.

Leonard's book currently is the most up-to-date single volume Baptist history available. It provides recent information not available in older works. It widens the scope far beyond British and American Baptists to take a closer look at other Baptists around the globe. While Leonard is an American Baptist most familiar with the American Baptist experience, he warms to the task of presenting the international scene. The colossal task of a single volume Baptist history requires a well-written story that engages the reader. Despite the problems inherent in telling a story over several centuries and across several continents, I found the story of Baptist Ways to be skillfully interwoven. Nevertheless, the end of the book has a little feel that perhaps Leonard has run out of time and space, and just had to quit.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marcus Brown on September 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bill Leonard's writing on Baptist history is the standard. His research is irrefutable and his writing style is wonderfully approachable for both academics and laymen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 23, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very detailed extensive history about Baptists. Everything is covered going back to our start in England. How we evolved into all the different Baptist groups and missionary starts as well.
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Format: Paperback
Unlike MacBeth's book on Baptist history that is heavily Southern Baptist Convention oriented, Leonard's book tries to meander down the center of the road but if it leans in any direction it is probably toward the American Baptist Convention (the old Northern Baptist Convention). I judge it to be fair and objective. A valuable addition to ones Baptist history collection.
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I found this book well written with many additional facts. Good book to read specifically in the Northern American history portion.
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