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Systematic Theology, Vol. 3: Witness Paperback – December 1, 2000
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In this volume McClendon makes an elegant and challenging case for the difference baptist life makes in the world. Particular high points in this volume are the chapters on jazz, Wittgenstein, and the retrospective chapter on the practice of the univeristy.
It is crucial, particularly for those who find themselves in the baptist tradition (broadly defined)to listen to McClendon's perspective. Without listening to a voice like McClendon's it seems clear that this theological tradition will become less true to itself and more confused by the winds that are currently blowing in the church and world. For those outside baptists (this broad, third way non-violent Christianity) one must listen to McClendon to hear the distinctively ecumenical voice of small "c" catholicity that he and John Howard Yoder sought to propound.
It would be difficult indeed to read this rich book and still believe that this is the final act of some sort of irresponsible world-denying sectarian theology. (Let us hope that this work might finally lay to rest that ever so tired and lazy charge laid against this tradition!) McClendon succeeds admirably in the task he has set for himself by writing a theology that is probing and elegantly welcomes the reader into the multi-faceted peaceful purposes of God. The author will be sorely missed even though the written works remain.