According to the scholarly and pastoral authors of this essay collection, sixteenth-century Anabaptists have much to teach Baptists and other Free Church evangelicals.
A study of the lives and theology of evangelical Anabaptists encourages a reader to dig deeper into the Bible, count the cost of discipleship to Jesus Christ, and commit oneself to engaging the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. The theological commitment of Anabaptists like Balthasar Hubmaier to the supremacy of the Word of God encourages us to live by the motto that “the truth is unkillable.” The example of Leonhard Schiemer, who understood that following Jesus meant taking up the cross of Jesus Christ, prepares one for the joyous difficulty of a life of discipleship. The loving attitude, missionary fervor, and desire for communal integrity of leaders like Hans Denck and Michael Sattler draws us into a stronger commitment to share the gospel from an authentically Christian heart and life.
Finally, such great contemporary leaders as Paige Patterson and Rick Warren have drawn upon the legacy of the evangelical Anabaptists to build great churches and seminaries. Their thoughts and stories are included here to encourage the recovery of the Anabaptist vision among Baptists and other free churches today.
These papers also serve as a Festschrift honoring the lifelong work of Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, in the study of the Radical Reformation. Indeed, he has inspired the recovery of the Anabaptist vision as a means of restoring New Testament Christianity.
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