When individual Baptist churches come together in a denominational context, some unique challenges arise. For example, a strong insistence on local church autonomy may conflict with the need for the group to collectively speak or act on a particular matter. Alternatively, some may argue against collective doctrinal standards on the basis of liberty of conscience. This book seeks to reconcile these Baptist distinctives and provide a coherent set of principles that can guide Baptist churches as they seek to co-operate together. In order to do this, the origins and grounds of Baptist denominations are reviewed, and their distinctives analysed. Recent attempts to establish a Baptist identity are evaluated, and then a framework is developed.
This book is based on a PhD thesis completed in 2012.