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Baptists in America : Columbia Contemporary American Religion Series - Bill J. Leonard

Baptists in America

Columbia Contemporary American Religion Series

Hardcover Published: 1st April 2005
ISBN: 9780231127028
Number Of Pages: 336
For Ages: 22+ years old

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Baptists are a study in contrasts. From Little Dove Old Regular Baptist Church, up a hollow in the Appalachian Mountains, with its 25-member congregation, to the 18,000-strong Saddleback Valley Church in Orange County, California, where hymns appear on wide-screen projectors; from Jerry Falwell, Jesse Helms, and Tim LaHaye to Martin Luther King Jr., Jesse Jackson, Bill Clinton, and Maya Angelou, Baptist churches and their members have encompassed a range of theological interpretations and held a variety of social and political viewpoints. At first glance, Baptist theology seems classically Protestant in its emphasis on the Trinity, the incarnation of Jesus Christ, the authority of Scripture, salvation by faith alone, and baptism by immersion. Yet the interpretation and implementation of these beliefs have made Baptists one of the most fragmented denominations in the United States. Not surprisingly, they are often characterized as a people who "multiply by dividing."

"Baptists in America" introduces readers to this fascinating and diverse denomination, offering a historical and sociological portrait of a group numbering some thirty million members. Bill J. Leonard traces the history of Baptists, beginning with their origins in seventeenth-century Holland and England. He examines the development of Baptist beliefs and practices, offering an overview of the various denominations and fellowships within Baptism. Leonard also considers the disputes surrounding the question of biblical authority, the ordinances (baptism and the Lord's Supper), congregational forms of church governance, and religious liberty.

The social and political divisions among Baptists are often as dramatic, if not more so, than the theological divides. Leonard examines the role of Baptists in the Fundamentalist and Social Gospel movements of the early twentieth century. The Civil Rights movement began in African American Baptist churches. More recently, Baptists have been key figures in the growth of the Religious Right, criticizing the depravity of American popular culture, supporting school prayer, and championing other conservative social causes. Leonard also explores the social and religious issues currently dividing Baptists, including race, the ordination of women, the separation of church and state, and sexuality. In the final chapter Leonard discusses the future of Baptist identity in America.

Industry Reviews

"Leonard carefully chronicles the clashes...in an instructive and compelling way." -- Library Journal "Leonard's superb historical and cultural study of this diverse denomination offers an understanding of this sometimes perplexing religious group." -- Henry L. Carrigan, Jr., ForeWord Magazine "Leonard has produced an excellent volume on Baptists in America... Recommended," -- Choice "Leonard's book demonstrates an equanimity badly lacking in many of the Baptist debates." -- Thomas S. Kidd, Journal of Religion "This book covers everything important about the Baptists of America... With respect, balance, and an obvious, genuine love." -- John Crowley, Valdosta State University, Journal of Southern History "This book provides an avenue for consideration of challenges that face Baptists in the dawn of this century." -- Omer Hancock, Review and Expositor "[An] excellent and informative volume." -- Paul Harvey, H-Amstdy

Prefacep. ix
Introductionp. 1
Baptist Beginningsp. 7
Baptists in the Twentieth Centuryp. 33
Baptist Beliefs and Practicesp. 65
Baptist Groups: Denominations, Subdenominations, and Churchesp. 91
Bible, Ordinances, and Polity: Debates and Divisions Among Baptistsp. 129
Baptists and Religious Liberty: Citizenship and Freedomp. 157
Ethnicity and Race in Baptist Churchesp. 183
Women in Baptist Lifep. 203
Baptists and American Culture: "In the World but Not of It"p. 227
A Baptist Chronologyp. 255
Notesp. 259
Selected Bibliographyp. 281
Indexp. 287
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780231127028
ISBN-10: 0231127022
Series: Columbia Contemporary American Religion Series
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 22+ years old
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 1st April 2005
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.67 x 16.1  x 2.41
Weight (kg): 0.57

Earn 435 Qantas Points
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