Ecumenical dialogue clarifies Baptist distinctives, says Gardner-Webb prof
|By Robert Dilday, Managing Editor|
|Thursday, December 08, 2011|
BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. -- Ecumenical dialogue between Baptists and other Christian traditions clarifies Baptist distinctives rather than dilutes them, says a Gardner-Webb University professor who participated in recent preliminary conversations between Baptists and Orthodox Christians.
“The purpose of ecumenical discussions is not to water down core Baptist doctrines, or to sacrifice congregational autonomy,” said Steven Harmon, adjunct instructor of Christian theology at the Baptist-affiliated school in Boiling Springs, N.C., in a university press statement. “Rather, ecumenists strive to clearly understand what other traditions believe on their own terms, rather than relying our own caricatured images of them. That also involves more clearly understanding those doctrines and practices that make us different, even as we search for the convergences that will help us establish unity. (read more)
The Gardner-Webb press release includes a link to additional quotations from me regarding the nature and purpose of ecumenical dialogue excerpted from two interviews I gave during this year.
UPDATE: Associated Baptist Press has issued the Religious Herald story as an ABP release: http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/6996/53/.