Monday, October 27, 2014

New publication--"Free Church Theology, the Pilgrim Church, and the Ecumenical Future"

The new issue of the Journal of Ecumenical Studies (vol. 49, no. 3, Summer 2014) includes my journal article "Free Church Theology, the Pilgrim Church, and the Ecumenical Future" (pp. 420-42). The prĂ©cis published at the beginning of the article follows below:

Within the framework of receptive ecumenism, this essay addresses the question: is there anything distinctive about theology in the Free Church tradition that constitutes some portion of the ecclesial gifts that the rest of the church might contemplate receiving from the Free Churches? The author’s own Baptist tradition serves as a particular example that represents the larger Free Church tradition in this connection. A survey of the international bilateral dialogues with Baptist World Alliance participation reveals a Free Church theology that is both radically biblical and radically catholic and yet relentlessly pilgrim in its resistance to overly realized eschatologies of the church and its doctrinal formulations. After establishing connections between Free Church and ecumenically shared expressions of a pilgrim church theology, the essay concludes by proposing seven ecclesiological theses rooted in the narrative Christology of Baptist theologian James Wm. McClendon, Jr., regarding what it might mean ecumenically for the church to embody the story of Jesus as a pilgrim people.

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