Announcing the first volume in the new NABPR series “Perspectives on Baptist Identities” edited by Alicia C. Myers and Adam English.
Description: In Inhabiting the World, Ryan Newson argues that resources contained in the “baptist vision” of Christian life are uniquely helpful in describing how Christians might transformatively and receptively inhabit the postmodern world. Newson unpacks the contours of a Christian identity centered around listening—to oneself, to others, and to the wild voice of God—and focuses his argument by engaging the work of theologian James Wm. McClendon, Jr. No mere “report” on McClendon’s thought, however, Newson pushes back on and creatively extends McClendon’s work, including into the fields of neuroscience, political theology, church practices, and ecclesial failure.
“From a rich store of learning and deep engagement with James Wm. McClendon, Jr.’s baptist vision, Ryan Newson offers a constructive path for renewing our work as theologians. Listening—an embodied practice—is the key to his methodology, which surely summons a more humble posture in a world of competing views. Of most interest to me was his perceptive guidance for how to access the resources churches need to inhabit the world more fully, with compelling identity and witness as people of the resurrection. –Molly T. Marshall, president and professor of Theology and Spiritual Formation, Central Baptist Theological Seminary
Ryan Newson is uniquely qualified to carry on the task of articulating a baptist identity in the wake of what Stephen Toulmin called the structural timbers of modern thought. Newson is doing in this book exactly what James Wm. McClendon, Jr. would have wanted. I strongly endorse the work done here. –Nancey Claire Murphy, senior professor of Christian Philosophy, Fuller Theological Seminary Ryan Newson thoughtfully explores and creatively extends the work of baptist (and Baptist) theologian James Wm. McClendon, Jr. This book shows how nuanced, challenging, and insightful this distinctive approach can be. Catholic, Protestant, Reformed, and Baptist theologians should read this text. They may not agree with all it says, but will come away from wrestling with it better able to articulate what it means to be a Christian today. A splendid contribution! –Terrence W. Tilley, Avery Cardinal Dulles, SJ Professor of Catholic Theology, Fordham University
Inhabiting the World is just the kind of reflection that progressive baptists need for inhabiting the postmodern condition. It is a masterful extension of James Wm. McClendon, Jr.’s important baptist theology that draws on the best of this tradition in being convictional but also open to the world, in valuing the power of Scripture but caring about the complexity of interpretation, in respecting the freedom of convictions but setting them within community and hospitality to others. Newson’s theology of listening skillfully navigates issues of identity and pluralism, practices and their abuses, and the individual and community. His is a voice to which we need to listen. –Dan R. Stiver, Cook-Derrick Professor of Theology, Logsdon School of Theology, Hardin-Simmons University.
Adam DJ Brett BOOKS OF INTEREST
baptist book New Book theology Perspectives on Baptists Identities