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|Title: Pilgrim Letters: Instruction in the Basic Teaching of Christ|
By: Curtis W. Freeman
Number of Pages: 112
Vendor: Fortress Press
Publication Date: 2021
|Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.25 (inches)|
Weight: 10 ounces
Stock No: WW470506
In Pilgrim Letters, Curtis Freeman takes disciples on a contemporary journey into an ancient faith. The book is a series of letters written by "Interpreter" to "Pilgrim" that provide "instruction in the basic teaching of Christ" for candidates preparing to be baptized. The letters are framed by a short catechism based on the six principles enumerated in Hebrews 6:1-2--(1) repentance, (2) faith, (3) baptism, (4) laying on of hands, (5) resurrection, and (6) eternal judgment.
The letters lead Pilgrim (the disciple/catechumen/baptismal candidate) step by step through the basics of Christian faith. Each letter explores one of the principles by providing a simple explanation and setting the practice within a broad biblical, historical, and theological context. The theological tenor of the letters is evangelical-catholic, free church-ecumenical, and ancient-future. A set of discussion questions follows each letter as does a short bibliography for further reading. Each letter begins with an image from William Blake's illustrations of John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress and exemplifying the subject of the letter, followed by an epigraph from the story that fits into the themes of the catechism.
Curtis W. Freeman (PhD, Baylor) is research professor of theology and Baptist studies and director of the Baptist House of Studies at Duke Divinity School. He is the author of Undomesticated Dissent: Democracy and the Public Virtue of Religious Nonconformity (2017), Contesting Catholicity: Theology for Other Baptists (2014), A Company of Women Preachers: Baptist Prophetesses in Seventeenth-Century England (2011), and Baptist Roots: A Reader in the Theology of a Christian People (1999). He is an ordained Baptist minister and serves as editor of the American Baptist Quarterly as well as on the Baptist World Alliance Commission on Doctrine and Christian Unity.
"Here is the catechism for which we have been waiting, one whose roots are, quite remarkably, as equally in a catholic as in a dissenting heritage. The author offers us a highly readable account of the basic principles of the Christian faith which is guided by the summary in the Book of Hebrews, informed by the historic creeds, touched by the style of C. S. Lewis, fired by the prophetic passion of William Blake and shaped by the narrative spirituality of Bunyan. Whether they are young disciples about to be baptized or mature church members, readers will find their faith and imagination nourished by a book which is wise in doctrine and far-sighted in its vision." --Rev. Paul S. Fiddes, FBA, University of Oxford
"Curtis Freeman has found his place in a long tradition of Christian leaders--from Anselm to C.S. Lewis--who teach others about the faith through the art of the letter. Freeman develops an accessible tool for catechesis that takes seekers on a journey. He has written an apologetic for the faith that will no doubt form the faithful for years to come." --Rev. Dr. Danielle Tumminio Hansen, Director of Field Education, Seminary of the Southwest
"Curtis Freeman has composed a wonderful book of basic Christian teaching that is timely, accessible and gracious. It is timely because free church people are at last beginning to realize how much has been lost by abandoning older classics of instruction and need something to fill the gap. It is highly accessible, written not to impress academics, but without condescension, in prose an intelligent child of ten can understand. It is gracious in the author's humble and loving tone, his rich but distilled wisdom blessedly free of self-righteousness. This book will be a godsend for parents, grandparents and even pastors." --David Lyle Jeffrey, FRSC, Distinguished Senior Fellow at Baylor Institute for Studies in Religion
"What Curtis Freeman has accomplished with Pilgrim Letters is important. This catechism is open and accessible to a broad spectrum of travelers along the Christian way. Very insightful, and helpful." --Rev. Reggie L. Williams, associate professor of Christian ethics, McCormick Theological Seminary
"Christian disciples are made, not born. There is an apprenticeship to be completed-- practices undertaken, skills learned, disciplines acquired, knowledge deepened, habits formed, and relationships sustained--if heart, mind, body and soul are truly to be devoted to our heavenly Father. Charged with imagination and wisdom this gem of a book suggests where we might begin and helps us take the first steps." --Rev. Canon Professor Trevor Hart, St. Mary's College, University of St Andrews
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