Thursday, July 9, 2009

Southwestern Journal of Theology reviews Towards Baptist Catholicity

Speaking of book reviews: the most recent issue of the Southwestern Journal of Theology (51, no. 1 [Fall 2008]) includes a review of Towards Baptist Catholicity by John A. Nixon (pp. 117-19). (Thanks to Wyman Richardson for calling it to my attention.) The main articles and review section aren't available online, but the editorial introduction to this thematic issue on "Baptists and Unity" will be of interest to readers of this blog, as it differs significantly from the perspective on ecumenical engagement that will be presented in Ecumenism Means You, Too.

Like all book reviews, this one offers the reviewer's opinion on both strengths and weaknesses of the book's argument. This particular review identifies more perceived weaknesses, even while commending some aspects of the book. That's as it should be. If a book doesn't elicit some strong responses of disagreement, it's probably not worth publishing.

All reviews of Towards Baptist Catholicity published to date, by reviewers with widely varying theological perspectives, have been helpfully critical. For what it's worth, the review by Curtis Freeman in First Things is one that fully grasps what I hoped to accomplish by publishing the book. Other reviewers who have discerned well my intentions while being appropriately critical of the book's presentation of them include Myk Habets in Pacific Journal of Baptist Research 2, no. 2 (2006): 73-76; David Wilhite in Journal of Ecumenical Studies 42, no. 3 (Summer 2007): 474-75; Chris Criminger in Stone-Campbell Journal 11, no. 1 (Spring 2008): 100-02; Charles Scalise and Michael Root in Perspectives in Religious Studies 35, no. 4 (Winter 2008): 433-35 and 435-37; and Doug Weaver in Baptist History and Heritage 43, no. 3 (Summer-Fall 2008): 105-07.

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