So You’re a Baptist (by Mark Noll)

In 2007, the Baptist World Alliance reported that there were about 53 million Baptists in the world, with about two-thirds of them located in the United States.

Other Christian traditions also manifest great internal diversity, but Baptists seem to outdo them all. Even to Baptists who have deeply pondered the question, it can be a real puzzle to say what it means to be a Baptist… „In the end … the Baptist identity, a phenomenon of the flux of history, may elude definition.”

[David Bebbington’s] conclusion about the question of Baptist identity exemplifies the compact wisdom of his entire treatment: „Taken together, these three convictions—believer’s baptism, a regenerate church membership, and the kingship of all believers—do seem fundamental to Baptist life, but even when taken together they do not form a characterization that includes all Baptists while excluding all others.”

http://www.booksandculture.com/articles/2011/julaug/youbaptist.html

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