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Bound together in the liberty of Christ: Renewing Baptist collaboration in mission.

CLAYDON, JOHN,RICHARD (2013) Bound together in the liberty of Christ: Renewing Baptist collaboration in mission. UNSPECIFIED thesis, Durham University.

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Baptists are a historic mainstream Christian denomination whose origins are found in the Radical Reformation expressed in the English Separatists and the Anabaptists. Having a strong emphasis upon covenanting together as local churches, they have developed a deep sense of liberty for the local church and also theoretically for their translocal relationships, which is ultimately expressed in Associations and the Baptist Union of Great Britain. The contention of this thesis is that the independency of local liberty has seriously disabled the more effective collaboration to which they aspire. The aim of the thesis is to establish the means for renewing Baptist collaboration in mission in ways that are faithful to the nature of Baptist theology and culture. Baptist sociality is explained and explored through the lens of Group-Grid theory in order to provide a framework for understanding the different cultures of the local church, Association and Union. This is then explored by the analysis of the fieldwork interviews which examines the perceptions of 30 Baptists, involved in a variety of spheres of Baptist life, regarding distinctive features of Baptist culture, issues relating to translocal collaboration, collaborative strategy and leadership, with a particular emphasis upon attitudes to translocal finance, known as Home Mission. The tensions of independency vis-à-vis interdependency are then examined through the lenses of Baptist history and theology, Methodism and bureaucracy in order to discover successful precedents from the past and models from other sources, that will enable Baptists to overcome the strong inclination to independency and enter into a more mature interdependency expressed in inter-church relationships as well as those between churches, Associations and the Union, leading to more effective mission.

Item Type:Thesis (UNSPECIFIED)
Award:Doctor of Theology and Ministry
Keywords:Baptist, Independency, Interdependency, Collaboration, Mission, Cultural Theory. Methodism, Home Mission.
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Theology and Religion, Department of
Thesis Date:2013
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:11 Dec 2013 11:24

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