Explaining the essentials of the faith, renowned theologian and author Dr. J. I. Packer outlines the core commitments that are common to those of us who profess belief in Jesus. Here is a call to discipleship in mere Christianity—the business of taking God seriously.
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.
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.
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.
How would Jesus have us act in today's world? Living Like Jesus explores eleven basic yet profound ideals that spell the difference between nominal Christianity and the incredible power of the authentic gospel. Ronald Sider challenges us to reexamine our commitment and return to the basics of faith, exploring the impact this will have on our relationships--with God, others, the church, our society, and our world.
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
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