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|Title: ||Living Stones in a Spiritual House: The Priesthood of the Saint in the Baptist Sanctorum Communio|
|Authors: ||Belyea, Gordon Lansdowne|
|Advisor: ||Mangina, Joseph|
|Keywords: ||Baptist Ecclesiology|
Priesthood of Believers
|Issue Date: ||26-Jul-2012|
|Abstract: ||This dissertation seeks to examine and address flaws in the contemporary understanding of the role of the individual in Baptist ecclesiology by drawing on the historical background of the movement from its Puritan roots and analysing the subsequent influence of Enlightenment thought, theological development, and contemporary events as causes of the resulting distortions in the understanding of the believer’s liberty under God. It then seeks to situate a recovery of the individual believer’s expression and formation in the faith in the ecclesiological concept of the priesthood of all believers. It concludes by bringing out some implications for Baptist practice of the insights gathered by this examination.
The doctrine of the priesthood of all believers is presented as the most suitable vehicle by which individualism might be addressed while remaining faithful to the primitive Baptist vision in the modern age. It is hoped thereby to preserve and reinforce the concept of the church as the body of the elect called out by God in Christ, individuals saved together to serve the Lord and witness to him in the world in which we live: living stones gathered expressly to be built up into that spiritual house that serves Christ and forms and preserves men and women. The essential role of the traditional Reformed marks of Word, sacrament, and discipline in both expressing and in forming the faith of the individual within the local church are examined as the foundational elements which must anchor the ecclesial recovery and application of the priesthood of all believers. This analysis and prescription is informed by current debates about epistemology and ethics as represented by those seeking to redress the current perceived imbalance in Baptist faith and practice, while answering to the Reformed understanding of God’s work in salvation and in the church, and draws on and responds to investigations undertaken by those involved in the Re-Envisioning the Baptist Identity statement.|
|Appears in Collections:||Wycliffe College - Doctoral Theses|
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