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Exploring Protestant Traditions: An Invitation to Theological Hospitality Paperback – September 24, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

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. . .a "one-stop-shop" for an overview of various strains of Protestantism. (Chuck Bumgardner, Orchard Keeper, January 1, 2008)

"Buschart offers a book that delves neatly into both theology and church history without becoming a work on the history of doctrine. . . . Hopes that deeper understanding will encourage theological 'hospitality.' This is not watered-down ecumenism but a challenge to see one another in the best possible and charitable light." (D. M. Whitford, United Theological Seminary, CHOICE, May 2007, Vol. 44, No. 09)

"Those looking for information on the theologies of the various Protestant traditions will like this book for its compactness and its short bibliographies." (Br. Benet Exton, O.S.B., on Curled Up with a Good Book (curledup.com))

"What a service this careful and thoughtful look at eight Protestant traditions is! Well organized, clear, up to date. This is a solid primer in what makes Protestants both alike and different. Well done. This work helps us understand each other better; a real contribution to the church." (Darrell Bock, Research Professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary)

"This book is a wonderful contribution to historical and ecumenical theology. Exploring Protestant Traditions: An Invitation to Theological Hospitality judiciously surveys eight ecclesio-theological traditions of Protestant theology: Lutheran, Anabaptist, Reformed, Anglican, Baptist, Wesleyan, Dispensational and Pentecostal. This gracious work is a call to ecumenical hospitality that responds to God's hospitality and recognizes diversity in belief and theology among the particular traditions and communities incarnate in the church. I will use this text as a textbook in my introductions to the history of Christianity courses, and I would recommend it for courses in ecumenism. It is rich with personal stories, encounters in these traditions, and comprehensive descriptions of the theology, hermeneutics and methods of each tradition presented. This well-written and hospitable treatment fills a need for a survey of these important Protestant traditions." (Philip D. W. Krey, President and Ministerium of New York Professor of Church History, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, and coauthor of Luther's Spirituality (forthcoming))

"Very perceptively David Buschart distinguishes the context, method and characteristic beliefs of the eight major Protestant theological traditions: Lutheran, Anabaptist, Reformed, Anglican, Baptist, Wesleyan, Dispensational and Pentecostal. With extraordinary fairness and clarity, he makes it easy to grasp not only their thematic distinctives but also provides a strong argument for their underlying similarities. He therefore shows the basis upon which a conscientious theological hospitality is possible between them, without diminishing their distinctive approaches. This is a very useful way of organizing and understanding the varieties of Protestant theology." (Thomas C. Oden, general editor of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture and emeritus Henry Anson Buttz professor of theology, Drew University)

"Respecting the deep, sometimes contradictory convictions of believers in various streams of the Reformation heritage, David Buschart offers an irenic overview of eight major Protestant communities. Hospitality is just the right word to describe this approach--a method marked by sympathy, generosity and insight. A good primer for evangelicals (and other Christians) who want a solid introduction to these living traditions." (Timothy George, dean, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, and executive editor, Christianity Today)

"David Buschart provides a thoroughly researched, well-organized, lucid account of the histories and theological orientations of eight significantly different Protestant traditions. The significance of this becomes contemporary as he outlines the methodologies and articulations of two central beliefs in each tradition by current American theologians. An extensive, valuable resource." (Thomas Finger, author of Contemporary Anabaptist Theology)

"David Buschart's book Exploring Protestant Traditions lives up to its subtitle: An Invitation to Theological Hospitality. Well researched, objective and accurate, it is warmly sympathetic to each of the eight traditions it covers, letting each tradition speak for itself through its own theologians and historians. This book will break down many old stereotypes and be an important tool for understanding what our Christian neighbors believe." (Vinson Synan, author of The Holiness-Pentecostal Tradition and dean of Regent University School of Divinity)

"Well researched, rich in detail, clear in method and irenic in spirit, Buschart's study of eight Protestant traditions is a gift to the ecumenical church. His call for theological hospitality in the midst of the diversities that divide is a welcome emphasis that honestly acknowledges theological varieties, while aiming for the greater good of 'moving toward the full experience and expression of unity in Jesus Christ.' Students and inquirers of all perspectives will realize this book renders a real service by providing historical and theological understandings of the traditions, but also by viewing these differences as opportunities for an ecumenical hospitality that is grounded in God's love. This Christian hospitality can transcend boundaries and extend grace and generosity--notes needed today by adherents of all Protestant traditions." (Donald K. McKim, author of Introducing the Reformed Faith and editor of The Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith)

"Dr. Buschart takes the different Protestant traditions and shows how we can be rooted in our own but learn from each of the others. This is ecumenism as it should be, not a watering down but a building up of the faith once delivered to the saints, so that each part can contribute to the whole and help us all to grow richer by sharing the blessings which God has given to each. This book will teach us who we are and what we can learn from others, to the glory of God and the advancement of his kingdom in the world." (Gerald Bray, Anglican Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School)

"Buschart's call to informed hospitality is reliable, evenhanded and gracefully presented. Comprised of carefully crafted summaries of the standard interpretations of North America's leading Protestant theological traditions, it will be read profitably by thoughtful Christians--clergy and lay--as well as interested observers standing outside the Christian faith. Although written from a broadly Reformed and evangelical viewpoint, its discussion of other traditions truly exemplifies the spirit of generosity it commends." (Douglas A. Sweeney, author of The American Evangelical Story and director of the Center for Theological Understanding, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School)

About the Author

W. David Buschart (PhD, Drew University) is associate dean and professor of theology and historical studies at Denver Seminary. He is the author of Exploring Protestant Traditions: An Invitation to Theological Hospitality and is coeditor of and a contributor to Scholarship, Sacraments, and Service. He has published a number of articles, essays and book chapters and is a member of the American Academy of Religion and the Evangelical Theological Society. Buschart served in the theology department at Canadian Theological Seminary from 1988 to 1998 and also served as acting dean of the faculty for one year. He was a founding member of the Research Science and Ethics Advisory Committee at Wascana Rehabilitation Centre in Regina, Saskatchewan and is also the founder of Credo Consulting, a theological consulting firm. He and his wife Nancy are active members of the Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church in Greenwood Village, Colorado.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 373 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic (September 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 083082832X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830828326
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #205,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Daniel B. Clendenin on January 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
In the introduction to this book that deserves a wide readership, theologian David Buschart recounts a conversation with his mother when he was about ten, the gist of which was that whereas his buddies were Catholic, Presbyterian, and Methodist, his mother described his family as "just Christians." That succinct description had its merits, and it satisfied Buschart in some important ways for some time, but later he began to observe a troubling pattern. Why all the many denominations if there was one Gospel? How were they similar and how were they different? Even more troubling, why did nearly every Christian tradition try to "occupy an ecclesiastical or spiritual high ground," writes Buschart, "as the genuine descendants of Jesus Christ and 'the New Testament church'"--unlike, of course, all those other posers and wannabes.

This book addresses those and similar questions for eight Protestant traditions-- Lutheran, Anabaptist, Reformed, Anglican, Baptist, Wesleyan, Dispensational, and Pentecostal. After introducing each chapter with a personal experience of the tradition under consideration, Buschart traces their historical origins and later developments (where they came from), explains how they do theology (theological and hermeneutical method), and then presents two characteristic beliefs or doctrines. He quotes copiously from each tradition's own sources (the 80 pages of footnotes are a goldmine for further reading), letting them speak for their own selves. He differentiates, as far as possible, the main unifying core of a given tradition, but also the diverse voices within a tradition. Not all Lutherans or Baptists believe exactly the same, for example, even though they enjoy a shared heritage. The end of each chapter includes a brief bibliography for further reading.
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By JMK on November 23, 2014
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Great resource. I recently read the section on Anglicanism to help me be more conversant with a friend who is a member of that tradition. i find it to be a great reference tool for exploring other protestant traditions. The content for each section gives a good historical overview and distinguishing characteristics.
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This is a great concise look at the various branches of the Christian church. The historical material on each of the eight traditions was very helpful in explaining why certain beliefs were so important to them. The material was well documented and presented in an neutral perspective.
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Format: Paperback
Excellent overview. I really enjoying reading this.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jayneisha Marshall on August 19, 2014
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