Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bapto-Catholicism Revisited

Baptist theologian Jay Smith has posted an interesting critique of Bapto-Catholicism, a movement among some Baptist theologians away from a Baptist identity grounded in Baptist traditions of freedom and community, and to a new Baptist identity centered in ancient creeds and the ancient churches (Roman Catholicism and Orthodox faiths). The manifestation of this re-imaging of Baptist identity is publicly expressed in attempts by Bapto-Catholics to establish an ecumenical vision that brings Rome into local Baptist churches' worship and practice in the form of recitation of creeds and introduction of Roman Catholic / Orthodox sacramentalism, alongside a spirited academic defense of the primacy of the papacy and Roman Catholic and Orthodox magesterium in defining true faith.

Is the Bapto-Catholic meshing of Baptist identity with papacy and ancient creeds true ecumenism? Jay Smith, a student of and co-author with the late Baptist theologian Stanley Grenz, says no. Instead, "It seems to be rather one sided ... with the Baptists drinking stout draughts from the Catholic keg as our Roman friends look on with the stoicism of a 'Cheshire Cat'." Read more from Jay Smith's blog post.