In an age of decreasing denominational loyalty, questions of identity have become important. Both church members and inquirers wonder what to make of a denomination's core values, mission, and common practices. Because the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) was born as a movement of reform on the American frontier during the early nineteenth century, it is marked by the time and place of its birth. The message it offered at the time was one of Christian unity rooted in theological simplicity and freedom of belief and practice. This message influenced the way the tradition came to understand biblical interpretation, theology, the sacraments, ministry, and its eschatology. As the movement matured, many recognized that this message of freedom could lead to unfettered individualism and tended to undermine congregational life and cooperation beyond the congregation. In response, Disciples leaders turned to the biblical idea of covenant to balance the message of freedom and link congregations with other forms of church without creating hierarchical systems. If, as some have suggested, this is a movement whose time has come, then it is important to understand the movement's identity and core values, which have been formed within the fulcrum of the tension existing between freedom and covenant.
John H. Leith's classic examination of what it means to become a member of the church. This study was designed for junior high communicant classes, but is also an excellent resource for church officer training and new member classes--for adults and young people alike.
Leith confronts the choices and questions that arise for young people, or anyone for that matter, trying to understand their place in the priesthood of all believers. He enlightens readers to the meaning of the church while he explores the vows taken by those entering the communing fellowship of the church, the nature and faith of the church, and the worship and work of the church.
Communio Sanctorum is the most recent product of the Lutheran-Catholic dialogue in Germany and the first major Lutheran-Catholic ecumenical statement since the ground-breaking Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification. It focuses on the ecclesiastical issues that the Joint Declaration identified as the remaining obstacles to Lutheran-Catholic communion. It describes the church as the communion of saints and then uses that description as a framework for addressing some of the most ecumenical issues: sacraments, ministry, the role of the church in salvation, and papacy. While not claiming to have finally settled such difficult issues Communio Sanctorum does represent a new convergence on these questions. Uniquely, the dialogue then uses this understanding of the communion of the saints to address issues related to the communion that transcends death: the nature of eternal life, prayers for the dead, veneration of the saints and Mary. Communio Sanctorum has sparked vigorous debate in Germany and makes a major contribution both to Lutheran-Catholic dialogue and to the wider ecumenical enterprise.?The dialogue invites the reader . . . to join in the ongoing ecumenical conversation which seeks the unity of the church intended by the Lord.? Catholic Books Review?. . . moves the ball forward in the discussion of full communion.? Crux of the News?. . . college and university students, along with seminarians, would benefit from the work, as well as educated laymen and, of course, clergymen from both groups. This is a valuable work, and shows the many areas where both groups have commonalities of understanding this important metaphor. It is a necessary purchase for libraries.? Catholic Library World
Respected Disciples Michael Kinnamon and Jan Linn propose reclaiming the Disciples movement's identity in a way that encourages reform of worship, relationships, and mission. With praise for the founding leaders' willingness "to follow their vision of what it meant to be church in their own time in history," the authors call on the denomination to do the same today, not in order to survive as an institution, but in order to enhance the church's participation in God's mission of peacemaking and compassionate service. Kinnamon and Linn explore the Disciples' historic commitment to covenant and claim that heritage as a tool for addressing current issues such as money, minister licensing, homosexuality, the future of seminaries, and more.
Respected Baptist historian and theologian Bill Leonard takes readers through the theological and practical questions that are important to Baptists. In a clear style and with great sensitivity to the varieties of beliefs among Baptist bodies, Leonard considers the big questions of faith. These include Baptist beliefs about God, Jesus Christ, the Bible, salvation, and the Christian life, among others. Drawing on historic statements of Baptist belief, contemporary history, and his own background and deep scholarship, Leonard provides reliable and accessible discussions of these issues. His work will be highly illuminating for Baptists of all denominational groupings as well as for others interested in the core of Baptist theological convictions and their various expressions. Leonard's is a strong and trusted voice, and this book will be a welcome resource.
You Mean to Say You Don’t Know the Meaning of * Monophysitism * Hypostatic Union * Infralapsarian * Traducianism * Chiliastic * Pneumatomachian Cheer up! You don’t have to have thousand-dollar vocabulary in order to grasp the priceless basics of Christianity. Christianity 101 bridges the gap between biblical scholarship and people who want to understand the Christian faith. This book presents eight basic doctrines of Christianity--The Bible, God, Christ, Holy Spirit, Human Beings, Redemption, The Church, and The Last Things--in clear, simple language that gives seasoned Christians a fresh understanding of the Bible and its teachings and puts new Christians on familiar terms with Christian doctrine. Gilbert Bilezikian does not shape his analysis of these doctrines in the worn-out, rationalistic categories of older systematic theologies, but in vibrant, dynamic language designed to communicate biblical truths to contemporary believers.
A back-to-the-basics look at what it means to be the churchdefined by the New Testament rather than by culture or tradition. Suggests that the customs, patterns, and structures of our churches may actually be barriers to God's purposes.
Fourteen Presbyterian scholars enter into conversations with the confessions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and examine the major theological themes that make the confessions such foundational commitments of faith. This collection of insightful essays provides readers with a clear understanding of the confessions from different periods of the church's life. These conversations with the confessions found in the PC(USA)'s Book of Confessions include some illuminating commentary on why they were written and demonstrate how they can be used to address major theological issues. This important work will help scholars, pastors, and church leaders interested in studying the Reformed tradition appreciate the role of the confessions in shaping Christian life and faith today.
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