Friday, June 21, 2013

Christianity Today on "The Baptist Bearing Robes and Incense"

Archbishop Songulashvili preaching in chapel at Duke
University Divinity School (Curtis Freeman, Director
of the Baptist House of Studies at Duke, in background).
Photo by Callie Anderson.
In December 2010 I wrote an Ecclesial Theology post on "Baptist 'Receptive Ecumenism' in the Evangelical Baptist Church of Georgia" following a supper I shared with Archbishop Malkhaz Songulashvili of the Evangelical Baptist Church of Georgia at the Eagle and Child Pub in Oxford (the pub frequented by C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and the "Inklings" once upon a time). The June 2013 issue of Christianity Today includes an article by William E. Yoder on "The Baptist Bearing Robes and Incense," which introduces Archbishop Songulashvili and the Baptist communion he serves to CT readers. Here's an excerpt from the opening of the article:

"There is a solemn procession to the altar. The choir is chanting. A bishop in a long, black robe and a full, gray beard swings an incense burner back and forth. We bow. We cross ourselves. It's a typical Sunday service at the Evangelical Baptist Church of Georgia.

"Yes. Baptist."

That is how Alexander Cuttino, an American pastor, recently described worship at the Evangelical Baptist Church of Georgia (EBCG), a denomination famous for its unusual method of contextualizing the gospel. The man behind those efforts: Malkhaz Songulashvili, archbishop of the EBCG....(read the full story at Christianity Today)


  1. Matthew 7:15. The mission of Songulashvili is to proselytize and steal the members of the Orthodox Church in Georgia. There's nothing ecumenical about that.