Baptist Catholicity: Thick Ecumenism

I’ll be honest, in the past, I’ve viewed most cross-denominational projects to simply be puppet efforts of the religious right. Think about it, what is the last multi-denominational project you remember? If you’re like me, it’s probably some pro life or “pro-values” conference that rallies around a thinly veiled goal to create more republican voters. Beyond anti abortion efforts, you …

Baptist Catholicity: Creative Retrieval of Tradition

… or so the slogan of a liberal mainline denomination goes. This particular mark is perhaps my favoriteidea in the Bapt-Catholic movement. As we reach back into the past, we are doing so with the hopes of creating something meaningful for the future. As this particular group of Baptists lost their spot in the most prominent protestant denomination in the …

Baptist Catholicity: Sacramental Theology

…it’s this. I disagree with viewing the ordinances as sacraments to begin with, but more importantly I disagree that learning from the authority of the Great Tradition necessarily requires Baptists to change a piece of our theology that we can trace to the early 1600s. A few weeks ago, I posed a question about sacramental theology on my Facebook. Should …

Baptist Catholicity: Community as a Locus of Authority

I was in a small town Southern Baptist Church, working with a congregation who had been through far too much pain, and kids who had been neglected as a result. Nobody had intended to let the students down, it was just that in the midst of a painful church split, death of a pastor, and fire through the church building, …

Baptist Catholicity: Liturgy in Worship

…that I would love to take again. You see, at the time I was familiar with one particular style of worship, and I wasn’t particularly open to new thoughts. Worship at my church during that time looked something like this: There’s nothing wrong with this means of worship, and I suspect many Baptist churches would look something like this today. …

Baptist Catholicity: Tradition as Authority

is a sentence where the author declares something a “clear heresy”. I underlined the passage in frustrated anxiety and wrote in the margins “according to who?!” The book presented a variety of views on important issues in the faith, then would narrow down and exclude beliefs considered by that author to be heresy. I didn’t understand how someone could so …

Authority: Sacred Direction of a Diverse Body

If you take a look around most Baptist churches, and ask who is in charge, I would be willing to bet that most people would point you to the Senior Pastor. Baptist churches with elders or a particularly powerful Executive Pastor might give you some direction toward those figures. Perhaps you would get pointed towards an influential member or a …