- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: B&H Academic (October 15, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1433644371
- ISBN-13: 978-1433644375
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,036,528 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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First Freedom: The Beginning and End of Religious Liberty Paperback – October 15, 2016
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—Steve Gaines, president, Southern Baptist Convention, and senior pastor, Bellevue Baptist Church
“It is difficult to exaggerate the historical importance of the Baptist witness to religious liberty…The spiritual ancestors of the contributors to the volume would be as proud of them as I am grateful to them for placing their impressive intellectual gifts at the service of our first freedom.”
—Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University
“This book is an excellent resource for believers to be informed about religious liberty so they can take their place in helping to defend it both now and for future generations.”
—Erik W. Stanley, senior counsel and director of the Center for Christian Ministries, Alliance Defending Freedom
About the Author
Thomas White is the president of Cedarville University in Cedarville, OH.
Malcolm B. Yarnell III is professor of systematic theology, director of the Center for Theological Research, and director of the Oxford Study Program at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX.
Top customer reviews
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The first section of this book addresses the historical background of religious liberty. Dr. Patterson demonstrates how religious liberty is entirely consistent with the New Testament doctrine of the exclusivity of Christ. In the historical context given it is readily evident that the rejection of religious liberty was one of the greatest shortcomings of the magisterial Reformers. What is made clear by White and Yarnell in their chapters is that religious liberty is a tenant inherent to the Baptist identity, and our republic has the influence of early Baptists largely to thank for the inclusion of this principal in our founding documents. The third section is particularly important in how thoroughly the contributors explain the meaning of religious liberty, which is particularly important as many are seeking to encroach upon individuals right to free expression of their religious beliefs, which is especially seen in the opposition encountered by those who are opposed to same-sex marriage. The third and final chapter addresses the looming challenges to religious liberty in contemporary America. The contributors address the dangers posed to religious liberty by the continuing encroachment of the progressive movement in regards to human sexuality, as well as implications to Christian schools,, and the bearing of international law on religious liberty.
What is the purpose of the religious liberty we strive to protect in America? Is it our own personal comfort and protection? Ultimately the purpose of our religious liberty is as Duesing says in his closing chapter, "the glory of God in salvation through judgment(256)." Our faith is a a faith that incorporates all of our life and currently we have been given great freedom to share the good new of the gospel with a lost and dying world to an extent that is truly unprecedented in human history. Read this book and let it remind you of the value and true purpose of religious liberty in bringing the gospel to those who need to hear it.
Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.
One, here is a book which clearly and precisely lays out a historical legacy of beliefs for religious freedom here in the states and why. Second, the essays also point out theological reasoning for sharing the gospel in a noncoercive manner. Third, the authors of the essays lay out how contemporary issues are affecting religious freedom in this nation today.
I found myself challenged once again to be able to lay before others the reason for the hope which I have because of Christ. I found statements made which caused me to pause and consider what the essays were putting forth regardless of whether I agreed with everything or not. Once again it reminds us as Christians that it is our duty to share the gospel with others while reminding us that we all have free will. God gave mankind free will and He has never revoked that decision, therefore we shouldn’t try to coerce others to believe too. Share the gospel the hope that is within you and then if the person wishes not to listen then stop. When you come across another individual share again and if they desire to listen or discuss beliefs with you then loving show them why you believe what you believe.
In a world where access to information is instantaneous learning takes time, commitment and sacrifice. Personally I love learning, reading and studying. I do have a personal conviction to do so until my last breath. As God leads me to share then that is what I do and I want to do it in a manner which invites discussion, and a yearning to know Jesus. I don’t always share it correctly or with grace but I am grateful that the Lord is teaching me how to do so with each new day.