Free Church, Free State
320 Pages

Free Church, Free State


320 Pages


"A church free from state control and a state free from church control"--Such is one of the radical insights of a baptist vision of church and society.
-- What exactly is a baptist vision of the church?
-- What are the biblical, historical and theological roots of this approach to Christian community?
-- What is the place of such a vision in the context of a global church that includes alternative notions of the body of Christ?
Free Church, Free State is a textbook on baptist ways of being church and a proposal for the future of baptist churches in an ecumenical context. Nigel Wright argues that both baptist (small 'b') and catholic (small 'c') church traditions should seek to enrich and support each other as valid expressions of the body of Christ without sacrificing what they hold dear.
Written for pastors, church planters, evangelists and preachers, Nigel Wright offers frameworks of thought for baptists and non-baptists in their journey together following Christ.



Published by
Published 29 November 2011
Reads 0
EAN13 9781725230354
Language English
Document size 2 MB

Legal information: rental price per page €. This information is given for information only in accordance with current legislation.


Free Church, Free State
Free Church, Free State
Free Church, Free State
The Positive Baptist Vision
Nigel G. Wright
Free Church, Free State
Copyright © 2005 Nigel G. Wright Wipf and Stock Publishers 199 W 8th Ave, Suite 3 First published in 2005 by Paternoster Press Eugene, OR 97401 11 10 09 08 07 06 05 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Free Church, Free State The Positive Baptist Vision Paternoster Press is an imprint of Authentic Media, By Wright, Nigel G. and Lotz, Denton 9 Holdom Avenue, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, MK1 1QR, UK and 129 MCoobpilyirziagthito©n2D00ri5veb,yWWaryignhets,boNriog,elGGA.308304575, USA ISwBwNw1.3a:u9t7h8e-n1ti-c61m0e9d7i-a6.c6o2.-u6k/paternoster Publication date 8/15/2011 The right of NigelPGr.evWioriugshltytpoubbleisihdeedntibfyiePdataesrnthoesteAr,ut2h0o0r5of this Work has been asserted by him in accordance with Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher or a licence permitting restricted copying. In the UK such licences are issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency, 90 Tottenham Court Road, London W1 P 9HE
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
Cover Design by fourninezero design. Print Management by Adare Carwin
Dedicated with much love and appreciation to Ruth
Free Church, Free State
Foreword Introduction: Aims and Oddities
On This Rock: Biblical and Theological Foundations for the Church Introduction A Radical Way What is the Church? Where is the Church? The Church as the Image of the Trinity The Church of Jesus Christ Primary Images of the Church The Priority of Mission The Church and the Kingdom of God The ‘Ecclesial Minimum’
Genesis and Genius: Types, Traditions and Baptist Origins Introduction Unity and Diversity Divergent Views of the Church The Genesis of the Church The Persistence of the SectType The Reformation and its Aftermath Anabaptism
xi xv
1 1 2 3 4 6 11 1 6 1 7 1 8
2 4 2 4 2 5 2 6 2 8 3 0 3 1 3 3
Contents Free Church, Free State
The Genius of Anabaptism The Genesis of the English Baptists Baptist Beliefs The Wave of the Future
The Gathering Church: A Community of Disciples Introduction The Corpus Christianum The Church as the Community of the Regenerate Membership of the Body of Christ Church Membership and Process The Church as an Ordered and Disciplined Community The Community of Disciples
The Baptism of Disciples: The Nature of Christian Initiation Introduction The Initiatory Rite The Meaning of Baptism The Normal Christian Birth Infant Versus Believers Baptism The Case for Infant Baptism Criticisms of Infant Baptism Frequently Asked Questions The Grace of Baptism
The Feast of Life: Communion and Body Politics Introduction A Baptist Concept of Sacramental Action Communion as a Sacrament The Meaning of Communion The ‘Real’ Presence The Politics of Practice The Active Presence of God
3 6 3 7 3 9 4 3
4 9 4 9 5 2 5 5 5 7 6 0
6 2 6 6
7 0 7 0 7 1 7 3 7 7 7 9 8 1 8 5 8 6 8 9
9 3 9 3 9 4 9 9 101 104 108 111
A Kingdom of Priests: The Government of the Congregation Introduction The Common Ownership of Power Alternatives to Congregationalism The Congregational Order Grounding the Positive Vision Beyond Distortion
The Children of the Church: People of Promise Introduction The Catechumenate The Status of Children The Church as Hospitable Space The Blessing of Children The Shape of the Rite The Scope of the Rite Pastoral Issues and Questions
Ministers and Members: Ordination and Enabling Introduction The Leadership of Some and the Ministry of All The Origins of the Ministries The Pattern of the Ministries Ordination Ministry and ‘Necessity’ Ministry and Authority Ministry: A Positive Vision
Relating and Resourcing: The Communion of Churches Introduction The Church: Local, Universal and Eschatological Associating and Association A Biblical Basis for Associating Synods and Councils
115 115 116 119 123 125 133
138 138 140 141 146 147 150 151 152
159 159 160 163 165 169 172 175 178
183 183
184 186 190 191
Free ChCuorcnht,enFtrsee State
Associations and Competence Being Church Beyond the Local Church A Theology of Oversight
10. The Separation of Church and State: Dissent, Religious Freedom and Tolerance Introduction Dissent, Nonconformity and the Free Church The Free Church Mind Tolerance in Society Tolerance in the Church
11. The Free State: Understanding the Social and Political Order Introduction A Classical Text The Trinitarian Vision of the Church The Social Order and the State The Relationship of Church and Social Order The Church and Violence
12. Paradigms for Engagement: The Shape of the Future Introduction A Typology for New Ways of Being Church A Typology for Ecumenical Engagement A Typology for Engagement with the Social and Political Environment Both Participating and Possessing Final Words
195 196 198
204 204 205 210 215 220
228 228 229 232 235 240 246
251 251 252 256
270 271 279