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Towards Baptist Catholicity: Essays on Tradition and the Baptist Vision (Studies in Baptist History and Thought) Paperback – August 1, 2006


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Steven R. Harmon is associate professor of Christian Theology, Campbell University Divinity School, North Carolina.
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Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Baptist History and Thought (Book 27)
  • Paperback: 322 pages
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Pub (August 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597528323
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597528320
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,274,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Marston on January 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
Prof. Harmon's book is an important book for Baptists, other free church protestants and Christians of other persuasions who wonder about their Baptist sisters and brothers. He displays his fidelity to the Baptist tradition precisely in his dissenting from some of our problematic tendecies to ignore ecclesial history and theology. In his essays, Harmon provides concrete ways that Baptists can become more "catholic", both in theology and in worship. Harmon "makes wise the simple" by writing in clear, accessible prose which is never simplistic. This book is a must read for Baptist pastors, theologians, students, and lay people who want to know how their tradition relates to/ can be a part of the church's larger tradition. Those who think they disagree with Harmon, be warned: you just might be persuaded by him if you give this book the reading it deserves. I look forward to much more from this promising theologian.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C. Schelin on February 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
Steve Harmon has taken a great leap forward in his bold appropriation of the tradition of the Church universal as an integral resource for renewal in Baptist churches. He shows how Baptists might conceive of a derivative authority for tradition while maintaining the primacy of Scripture, highlights our implicit allegiance to Nicaea and Chalcedon in our confessions, and offers Protestant/evangelical paradigms for ressourcement by way of engagement with the early church fathers and mothers. Harmon shows that tradition does not eliminate dissent - a cherished Baptist practice! - but rather sets the boundaries within which dissent is actually a constructive task.

This reviewer is ever thankful for this recent work by Harmon as well as the writings of Philip Thompson, Elizabeth Newman, Curtis Freeman, John Colwell, Paul Fiddes, D.H. Williams, Timothy George, and others. These current voices in Baptist theology and historiography demonstrate that one doesn't need to swim the Tiber or Bosporus to feel at home in the grand current of Christianity throughout the ages. More immediately, they provide insights into Baptist identity which transcend the stale and shop-worn divide between "biblical conservatives" and "freedom-loving moderates." It's time to move on!

So why not five stars? This is an important book, but because of the sophisticated style of writing it may be fairly inaccessible to many Baptists, both laity and pastors. I believe that its fruits would require a lot of "translation" to be applied in most local churches, especially since the typical theological dialect for Baptists is very different from that of persons and communities which explicitly value little-c catholicity.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By George on June 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book on a risk, so when it arrived I figured it may be just another liberal weak knee literary mumbo-jumbo. What a pleasant surprise, the book is scholarly and gives some very well research points of view which make logical sense. I not only enjoyed the first read, I'm back for a second round.
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