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In Search of the New Testament Church: The Baptist Story / Edition 1
     

In Search of the New Testament Church: The Baptist Story / Edition 1

by C. Douglas Weaver
 

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ISBN-10: 0881461059

ISBN-13: 9780881461053

Pub. Date: 03/28/2008

Publisher: Mercer University Press

When John Smyth organized the first Baptist church, he wanted to establish the New Testament church; believer's baptism was the missing link. Baptists of subsequent eras often continued the search to embody "New Testament Christianity." Unique to surveys of Baptist life, Doug Weaver highlights this restorationist theme as a way to understand Baptist identity.

Overview

When John Smyth organized the first Baptist church, he wanted to establish the New Testament church; believer's baptism was the missing link. Baptists of subsequent eras often continued the search to embody "New Testament Christianity." Unique to surveys of Baptist life, Doug Weaver highlights this restorationist theme as a way to understand Baptist identity. Weaver does not force the theme, but the "search" is ever present. It is found in the insistence upon believer's baptism, but also in examples like the Sabbath worship of Seventh Day Baptists, the "nine rites" of colonial Separate Baptists, the women preachers of Free Will Baptists, the "trail of blood" of Landmarkism, the social gospel of Walter Rauschenbusch, the "fundamentals" of fundamentalism and the ministry of the European pioneer Johann Oncken.

Like other recent Baptist studies, Weaver describes Baptist diversity. Still, he highlights the persistent commitment of most Baptists to an informal constellation of "Baptist distinctives." Alongside the quest for the New Testament church (and congregational community), Weaver especially highlights the Baptist commitment to religious liberty and the individual conscience. This emphasis, while later reinforced by Enlightenment ideals, could already be found in the biblicist piety of the earliest Baptists who insisted that individual believers must have the right to choose their religious beliefs because they would stand alone before God at the final judgment.

Both chronological and thematic, this book addresses such themes as the role of women, the social gospel, ecumenism, charismatic influences, and theological emphases in Baptist life. The book's focus is America, but italso includes helpful introductory chapters on early English Baptists and international Baptists.

About the Author:
C. Douglas Weaver is the director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Religion at Baylor University

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780881461053
Publisher:
Mercer University Press
Publication date:
03/28/2008
Series:
Baptists Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
296
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     7
Early English Baptists: The Search for the New Testament Church Begins     9
Baptist Origins in America: The Search for the New Testament Church Begins Again     32
Baptists in America during the Eighteenth Century: The Quest for New Testament Faith through Revivalism and Religious Liberty     51
Antebellum America: Baptist Democratization, Denominational Centralization, and Slavery, or, Baptists and Their Different Bibles     87
1850-1950 and Baptists in the North: The Strength of Denominational Efficiency, the Challenges of Rapid Change and Conflict     114
In Search of a New Testament Church, Southern Style     146
1950 to the Present: American Baptists Confront the Future     180
1950 to the Present: Baptists in the South Battle for Denominational Identity     186
African-American Baptists: From the Slave Cabin to a National Podium     201
Baptists: An International Movement     215
Epilogue     251
A Bibliographical Note     254
Index     279

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