"A dialogue between the Orthodox Church of Georgia and the ‘Evangelical Christians-Baptists’ of Georgia (1979–1980) with its wider Baptist context" by Paul S. Fiddes and Malkhaz Songulashvili, to which is appended the full agreed text from the dialogue (published in full and in English translation for the first time). The abstract of the article appears below:
In 1979–80 conversations were held between representatives of the Orthodox Church of Georgia and the ‘Evangelical Christians-Baptists’ of Georgia in a situation of oppression by the Communist state. The agreed document that emerged from this dialogue is printed here, and is preceded by an article which expounds it from a Baptist perspective, sets it in the wider context of Baptist theological and ecumenical theology, and relates it to the practices of the present-day Baptist Church of Georgia. The stated purpose of the dialogue was to achieve reconciliation and unity between Orthodox and Baptist Christians in Georgia, first by agreeing substantial matters of doctrine and then by adopting a common liturgy and common sacramental life. Among the range of subjects reviewed, including the Blessed Virgin Mary, the saints, nationalism, confession and icons, the discussion on baptism is perhaps the most adventurous, and remains promising though flawed. The document does not represent the views of the present-day Orthodox Church of Georgia, and its contents clearly reflect the political pressures under which it was composed. However, it is of historical interest, and some will see it as a sign of hope for co-operation in the mission of God.
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