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Baptist Identity and the Ecumenical Future: Story, Tradition, and the Recovery of Community Hardcover – February 12, 2016
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"Steven Harmon challenges his own Baptist tradition to receive the gifts held in trust for the whole body of Christ by other churches, even as he implicitly challenges others to recognize the gifts that Baptists, with their 'pilgrim church theology,' bring to the wider church. I strongly endorse his essential premise: not only do Baptists need the ecumenical church, the rest of us need the full, mutually receptive engagement of Baptists if this movement for unity is to move. The book is creative, well researched, passionate, and practical."―Michael Kinnamon, Former General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in the USA
"This book was written 'in the hope that the tribe of those who long for the visible unity of Christ's church might increase among Baptists, and that other Christians might recognize them, so that together we can make our pilgrim journey toward the ecumenical future.' Based on extensive experience of dialogue with other Christians, his richly documented and insightful treatment of such crucial themes as scripture, tradition, sacraments, authority, and the pilgrim church open fresh avenues for moving toward the unity for which Jesus prayed."―William Henn, Professor of Ecclesiology and Ecumenism, Pontifical Gregorian University
"Harmon's book is a thorough and challenging appeal for visible unity in faith and order between Baptists, Catholics, and all other Christians. After all, 'Baptists are dissenting catholic Christians'―they are a pilgrim community brought to visibility by ecumenical engagement. This is a must read for every Baptist student."―Henk Bakker, Professor of Baptist Studies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
"Baptist Identity and the Ecumenical Future should be required reading for Baptist leaders."―Neville George Callam, General Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the Baptist World Alliance
"An important work in Baptist studies"―Choice
"Provocative, challenging, and forward-looking"―Mitzi J. Budde, Virginia Theological Seminary, Perspectives in Religious Studies
"A dense and richly documented book"―Molly T. Marshall, Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Perspectives in Religious Studies
"A promising way forward for Baptists"―David E. Wilhite, The Pacific Journal of Baptist Research
"[Harmon's] work rests on the genuine hope of finding common ground across the body of Christ, ideally even the recovery of a cooperative Christian community that could see itself as part of one body, even as many denominations"―Courtney Pace, The Pacific Journal of Baptist Research
"Harmon has done Baptists a service in offering us an understanding of tradition which frames it as an invitation to conversation and an opportunity to grow."―Andrew Smith, The Pacific Journal of Baptist Research
"Harmon's Baptist Identity and the Ecumenical Future is a work that engages the current status of Baptist life in the wider context of the current ecclesial and ecumenical situation. It is not only the ambition of this book but its execution that establishes Harmon as the most accomplished Baptist ecumenist working in America today, and perhaps one of the most insightful ecumenists of any stripe, and it is thereby worthy of consideration not only by Baptists but also by all interested in the history and current state of ecumenical discussion."―Kimlyn J. Bender, Christian Scholar's Review
"Harmon's book offers the research and wisdom of a Baptist thinker at the forefront of ecumenical work. His methodical analysis of Baptist history and ecumenical documents, coupled with practical constructive proposals for congregations to change, has made this book original, essential, and necessary to the future of Baptist life."―Spencer Miles Boersma, Reading Religion
"Harmon's book is an achievement to be celebrated. Pastors, seminarians, and Baptists interested in pursuing the unity described by Jesus in John 17 would all profit from careful study of its contents. What is more important, implementation of the practices it commends would be a gift to the church."―Cameron H. J. Jorgenson, American Baptist Quarterly
About the Author
Steven R. Harmon is Visiting Associate Professor of Historical Theology in the School of Divinity at Gardner-Webb University.
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