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Four prominent converts to Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Evangelicalism and Anglicanism describe their new faith traditions and their spiritual journeys into them. Response chapters offer respectful critiques. Contributors include Wilbur Ellsworth (Eastern Orthodoxy), with a response by Craig Blaising; Francis J. Beckwith (Roman Catholicism), with Gregg Allison responding; Chris Castaldo (Evangelicalism) and Brad Gregory's Catholic response; and Lyle Dorsett (Anglicanism), with a response by Greg Thorbury.
Journeys of Faith will provide readers with first-hand accounts of thoughtful Christians changing religious affiliation or remaining true to the traditions they have always known. Pastors, counselors and students of theology will gain a wealth of insight into current faith migration within the church today.
Number of Pages: 208
Publication Date: 2012
|Dimensions: 8 X 5.38 (inches)|
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Research indicates that on average, Americans change their religious affiliation at least once during their lives. Today, a number of evangelical Christians are converting to Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy and Anglicanism. Longtime Evangelicals often fail to understand the attraction of these non-Evangelical Christian traditions. Journeys of Faith examines the movement between these traditions from various angles. Four prominent converts to Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Evangelicalism and Anglicanism describe their new faith traditions and their spiritual journeys into them. Response chapters offer respectful critiques. Contributors include Wilbur Ellsworth (Eastern Orthodoxy), with a response by Craig Blaising; Francis J. Beckwith (Roman Catholicism), with Gregg Allison responding; Chris Castaldo (Evangelicalism) and Brad Gregorys Catholic response; and Lyle Dorsett (Anglicanism), with a response by Robert Peterson. This book will provide readers with first-hand accounts of thoughtful Christians changing religious affiliation or remaining true to the traditions they have always known. Pastors, counselors and students of theology will gain a wealth of insight into current faith migration within the church today.
Robert L. Plummer is associate professor of New Testament interpretation at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. The author of 40 Questions About Interpreting the Bible (Kregel, 2010), Paul's Understanding of the Church's Mission (Paternoster, 2006), and numerous scholarly articles, Dr. Plummer also serves as an elder at Sojourn Community Church. He and his wife live with their three young daughters in Louisville.
Wilbur Ellsworth is pastor of Holy Transfiguration Antiochian Orthodox Church in Warrenville, Illinois, speaker on Ancient Faith Radio's "Let My Prayer Arise: Meditations on the Psalms," author of The Power of Speaking God's Word (Christian Focus, 2000) and president of The Society for the Study of Eastern Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism.
Francis J. Beckwith is Professor of Philosophy and Church-State Studies, and Resident Scholar in the Institute for Studies of Religion, at Baylor University. He is a former president of the Evangelical Theological Society, resigning his post in May 2007 a week after returning to the Catholic Church of his youth. He has published in the areas of political philosophy, jurisprudence, applied ethics, philosophy of religion, and Christian apologetics.
Chris Castaldo (PhD) was raised on Long Island, New York, as a Roman Catholic and worked full-time in the Catholic Church for several years. After eight years as pastor of outreach and church planting at College Church (Wheaton, Ill.), followed by three years as Director of the Ministry of Gospel Renewal at Wheaton College, Chris currently serves as Lead Pastor of New Covenant Church in Naperville, IL. He is the author of Holy Ground: Walking with Jesus as a Former Catholic and Talking with Catholics about the Gospel: A Guide for Evangelicals. Chris blogs at www.chriscastaldo.com
Lyle Dorsett has been the Billy Graham Professor of Evangelism at Beeson Divinity School since 2005, and teaches courses in evangelism and church history. He also serves as the senior pastor of Christ the King Anglican Church in Birmingham (AMiA). His most recent book is A Passion for God: The Spiritual Journey of A. W. Tozer (Moody, 2008).
Craig Blaising is Executive Vice President & Provost and Professor of Theology at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is author of numerous books and a contributor to Zondervans Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond (1999) and Three Views on the Rapture (2010).
Gregg Allison (PhD) is Professor of Christian Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky where he teaches systematic theology. Previously he served on Cru staff at the University of Notre Dame and overseas in Italy and the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland. He is a pastor of Sojourn Community Church, and is the theological strategist for Sojourn Network, a church planting network of about thirty churches. He is the author of Historical Theology: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine; Sojourners and Strangers: The Doctrine of the Church; and Roman Catholic Theology and Practice: An Evangelical Assessment.
Brad S. Gregory is Dorothy G. Griffin Associate Professor of Early Modern European History at the University of Notre Dame. Brad is the author of many scholarly articles and the award-winning book, Salvation at Stake: Christian Martyrdom in Early Modern Europe (Harvard University Press, 2001).
Robert A. Peterson is Professor of Systematic Theology at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. He is author or editor of twenty books, including Salvation Accomplished by the Son: The Work of Christ (Crossway, 2012), Our Secure Salvation: Preservation and Apostasy (P&R Publishing, 2009), and, co-edited with Christopher Morgan, Hell Under Fire (Zondervan, 2004).
Three of the converts left evangelicalism for more "liturgical" traditions. The fourth person left their Catholic upbringing to become and evangelical. Each of these people shares their personal perspective on what led them to move to another branch of Christianity. Then, each person has another Christian thinker that responds to their decision from the tradition that they left behind, offering another perspective on both traditions. The dialogue is rich, and allows the reader to think through their own faith through listening to another's journey.
What is truly unique and intriguing about Journeys of Faith is its balance of head and heart. On one hand, each person shares their own personal journeys from one faith tradition to another, and they share the nature of their personal need, desires, and hopes from a Christian community, and the emotional journey of leaving "home" for a new church "family". On the other hand, both the people who share their journey, as well as those who listen to them are top notch thinkers. So, one comes to understand the apologetic for each expression of the Christian faith, and the reasoning that each one has on why they are best or right.
Another distinguishing mark of this book is the grace that each person treats the other with, even if they are coming from differing perspectives. People make their points and share their opinions, but there is very little in the way of personal attacks or demeaning language.
Personally, I was challenged by the language, especially in the opening, that contrasted evangelical faith and liturgical practice. As someone who belongs to a mainline church, I believe it is possible to honor much of a traditional liturgy, and yet still have some sense of an evangelical theology. In other words, I think of liturgy as a style of worship, and evangelical as a theological system, and fail to see why they have to be mutually exclusive. I know evangelical Catholics and liturgical Baptists. I felt that, at times, this book neglected this possibility.
This is an excellent book to help people understand how some folks come to their faith, and how other folks find a way to leave their group of Christian believers. I would recommend readers come with an open heart to this book, an awareness of their own spiritual journey, and a willingness to examine how they have come to the Christian convictions they have adopted. If anyone does so, they will be blessed richly, as I was. -- Clint Walker, ChristianBookPreviews.com