Sources of Light: Resources for Baptist Churches Practicing Theology
Edited by Amy L. Chilton and Steven Harmon (Mercer University Press)
Theology is neither understood nor practiced in a vacuum. The same Holy Spirit enlightens all believers, but context and community influence how Christians from varied backgrounds and diverse cultures understand God’s call to mission, ministry, discipleship, worship and daily living.
This collection of 25 essays, counting introductory and concluding chapters by the editors, provides light refracted through a broad range of prisms. Essentially, it is designed to help readers—particularly Baptist pastors in local churches—view issues related to theology, liturgy and ethics from perspectives other than their own.
Writers include four who teach or recently taught at Texas Baptist schools—Derek Hatch from Howard Payne University, Nora Lozano from the Baptist University of the Américas, Myles Werntz from Hardin-Simmons University’s Logsdon Seminary and Jason Whitt from Baylor University. Several others have Texas Baptist roots.
Like any collection of essays by multiple authors, not every chapter is of equal quality. Some provide broad overviews, while others are highly specialized. Some of the contextual categories may be too narrowly sliced, while other essays explore issues of such complexity that the allotted space seems inadequate. Any reader who doesn’t find something with which he or she will disagree or take offense must not be paying attention. By the same token, any reader who fails to have “aha” moments of illumination from unexpected directions probably needs to be more open to the Spirit. Prepare to experience flashes of light from unanticipated sources.
Ken Camp, managing editor