In addition to being an Investigations Manager for a Washington State agency, I’m also a pastor at my church. So, I’m pretty busy – which is why I haven’t written much here for the past year or so. But, having said that, this past March, I self-published a book about Baptist polity.
Why did I do this, and what do I have to say that’s worth reading? Fair enough. Here are some short answers:
- I wrote the book in a deliberately low-key, conversational style. I tried to avoid using an academic tone. Basically, my target reader is an interested, “ordinary” Christian of any denominational stripe.
- I frame the matter as a contrast between the members of the Old and New Covenants. If you’re a dispensationalist, this is a unique way of putting things. Basically, I argue like a Reformed Baptist.
- I argue for open communion; that is, anybody who confesses Christ as Savior and claims to be a member of the New Covenant may partake of the Lord’s Supper.
- I argue that believer’s baptism isn’t a prerequisite for participation in the Lord’s Supper, and interact at length with the arguments against this position.
- I argue for immersion as the correct mode of baptism by a very thorough look at the relevant passages. But, I’m also honest enough to admit the case isn’t a “slam-dunk.” It’s an inference from good principles. I’d give immersion a C+/B- on a grading scale, but I think it’s the best way.
- The book isn’t polemical. I love and respect other ecclesiastical traditions, and interact with them fairly. I just think they’re wrong!
I wrote the book for ordinary church members. Most books about polity are written for pastors by theologians. Mine is written for ordinary Christians by a pastor. The only recent book with similar aims is one by Kevin Bauder, a theologian at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Minneapolis. But, Bauder writes from a dispensational framework and his audience is Baptist fundamentalists.
I tried my best to present a winsome, irenic and positive case for the Baptist way to “do church.” If you’d like to check the book out, here it is (in trade paperback and Kindle):