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OPINION

Anabaptist volume to honor Patterson

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FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) -- A festschrift, or academic volume, in honor of Paige Patterson on evangelical Anabaptists of the 16th century is slated for publication in October 2013, according to a mid-October announcement at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where Patterson is president.
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"One of Dr. Patterson's great passions over the past, and I hope for many years in the future, has been seeing the restoration of New Testament Christianity within the churches of Jesus Christ today," said Malcolm Yarnell, professor of systematic theology who has edited the volume. "And part of that passion has displayed itself in historical research with regard to the Anabaptists."

The festschrift, titled "The Anabaptists and Contemporary Baptists, Restoring New Testament Christianity: Essays in Honor of Paige Patterson," largely encompasses essays presented during Southwestern's conference on Anabaptists in January 2012, which Yarnell said was "dedicated to re-examining the Anabaptists as a vital resource for contemporary Baptist theology."

R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., contributed a preface for the book, to be published by B&H Academic, a division of LifeWay Christian Resources. Richard Land, president of the SBC's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, wrote the introduction.

Yarnell noted that "many of the contributors either wrote their research doctoral dissertations under his supervision or were otherwise encouraged by him to pursue Anabaptist studies."

Among the contributors, in addition to Yarnell, are Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in California; Anabaptist scholar Abraham Friesen; Emir Caner, president of Truett-McConnell College in Georgia; and Southwestern Seminary vice presidents Thomas White and Jason Duesing. Additionally, an essay by Patterson himself was included.

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The book entails three sections: theology, Balthasar Hubmaier and history.

The first section includes essays on Anabaptist theology, including their theological method and views on religious liberty. The second section highlights Hubmaier, an Anabaptist theologian whose views are similar to those of contemporary Baptists, particularly those related to political theology. The final section emphasizes important individuals and movements among the Anabaptists.

Patterson, expressing gratitude for such a high honor, said, "For those of you who don't know the word 'festschrift,' it's a development of the history of German scholarship where the students of a professor get together once the professor has reached a certain antiquity, and they write a series of essays in honor of said professor. It is about the highest honor that can come to someone in the academic world, and so, Dr. Yarnell, I accept it as such and am overwhelmed that you do it on the Anabaptists because I do believe that it is our very rich heritage, and I do believe that it's largely been lost among our own people.

"For this to be a festschrift volume in my honor, and much more than that focusing on what it is that God has blessed across the years in the Great Commission of our Lord, means everything in the world ," Patterson said.

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The seminary's latest issue of its Southwestern News magazine also features the Anabaptists. The magazine can be viewed and downloaded at www.swbts.edu/southwesternnews.

Keith Collier is director of news and information for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas www.swbts.edu/campusnews. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress ) and in your email ( baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).

Copyright (c) 2012 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net

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