Patterson was presented with a copy of a new book during an Oct. 15 chapel service at the seminary's Fort Worth, Texas, campus.
"Obviously, Dr. Patterson, this book is to honor you for the work that you've done with the Anabaptists and all the insights you have brought," Jim Baird, vice president of B&H Publishing Group, said in making the presentation to Patterson. "But I want to tell you that it is also for your service to our Lord and to His church, and it is to thank you for having the courage and character to lead sometimes when others would not." B&H is a division of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The volume largely entails essays presented at Southwestern's conference on Anabaptists in January 2012, with many of the authors being current or former doctoral students under Patterson.
"I'm well aware of the fact that represents my antiquity," Patterson said, "and I nevertheless appreciate it.
"For a festschrift volume -- which is a German word that has to do with an anniversary volume normally put together by the students of a professor -- this is the most beautiful volume I've ever seen in my life. It's incredible," Patterson said.
Unique to the book is a section with photos taken from a spring 2012 Anabaptist study tour through Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the Czech Republic led by Patterson and Malcolm Yarnell, a professor at the seminary and editor of the book.
R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., contributed a preface for the book, and Richard D. Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, N.C., wrote the introduction.
Among the contributors are Yarnell, Saddleback Church pastor Rick Warren, Anabaptist scholar Abraham Friesen, Truett-McConnell College President Emir Caner, Cedarville University President Thomas White and SWBTS Vice President Jason Duesing. Additionally, an essay by Patterson himself is included.
The book is broken into three sections: theology, Balthasar Hubmaier and history. The first section includes sections 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.
The Fall 2012 issue of Southwestern News magazine featured stories on the Anabaptists and the study tour, can be accessed here.
The Afterword to the festschrift, written by Duesing, recounting his experiences in Patterson's doctoral seminar, can be read here.
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).
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