Tuesday, February 5, 2013

"Are Baptists still nonconformists?" (ABPnews Blog)

My post "Are Baptists still nonconformists?" appears on the Associated Baptist Press ABPnews Blog. Here's an excerpt from the beginning of the post; click on the hyperlinked title for the full text at the ABPnews Blog:

Not long after our move to work at Gardner-Webb University School of Divinity my wife Kheresa read Monique Truong’s Bitter in the Mouth (Random House, 2010), a novel rooted in Truong’s childhood experiences as an “outsider” Vietnamese-American in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, where her family settled after the fall of Saigon in 1975 and where we now live. One morning Kheresa read to me a sentence that follows a reference to the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in nearby Shelby: “As far as the Southern Baptists were concerned, Episcopalians were third on the list of local religious nonconformists” (after one of the characters in the novel and Catholics).

That sentence struck me as delightfully ironic, for in seventeenth-century England the 1662 Act of Uniformity officially made Baptists the “Nonconformists” (along with Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and Quakers)–because of their dissent from the doctrines and practices of the established Church of England, the progenitor of the Episcopal Church in the United States....(read the full post at the ABPnews Blog)

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