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Ancient Faith and American-Born Churches: Dialogues between Christian Traditions
Campbell, Ted A., Ann K. Riggs & Gilbert W. Stafford, eds.
Paulist Press, 2005
ISBN: 978-0-8091-4321-4
Subject: ecumenical dialogue, United States


Ancient Faith and American-Born Churches offers a unique approach to the exploration of the Christian tradition and faith heritage of the many Christian communities in the United States. In this set of dialogues, wildly unlikely combinations of church traditions are paired off with each other: Seventh-day Adventists and Episcopalians discuss Jesus' second coming; Eastern Orthodox and Holiness church leaders discuss Christian worship; Churches of Christ and Roman Catholic theologians discuss the meaning of a truly apostolic  church. This exciting series of interchanges opens up unexpected points of convergence between widely separated Christian traditions. It also offers a rich source of knowledge about the depths and the gifts of ancient and American-born Christian traditions and of the faith they profess.

"From these pages emerges a picture of churches in dialogue, sharing their own distinctive faith convictions and practices, learning about the cherished beliefs of others and, in the process, learning more about their own cherished beliefs. We see churches as they accept a new vulnerability, opening themselves to others, to new perspectives and possibilities for the life of faith. We are privileged observers, present at the moment when ignorance and fear are replaced by knowledge; when the stranger becomes a partner in a mutual journey in faith; when the familiar ecclesial landscape, dotted with churches grown comfortable and self-sufficient in their division, is challenged by Christ's call that they be visibly one (John 17:21)." (From the Foreword of the book)

Dialogue topics treated in this groundbreaking work of ecumenism include the following:
• The Unitive Power of Holiness
• The Hermeneutics of Reconciliation in Worship
• Apostolicity
• The Role of Creed and Confessions
• Christian Initiation
• The Authority and Function of Scripture
• The Teaching Authority of the Church
• Eschatology and Mission

About the editors:
Ted A. Campbell served as president of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois between 2001 and 2005 and he currently serves as Visiting Professor of Historical Theology and Methodist Studies at Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, California. He is also an ordained elder of The United Methodist Church and has published extensively in Methodist Studies.

Ann K. Riggs is associate general secretary for Faith and Order and director of the Faith and Order Commission at the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA. She is a consultant to the Standing Commission of the World Council of Churches Faith and Order Commission.

Gilbert W. Stafford is professor of Christian theology at Anderson University School of Theology in Indiana. Since 1984 he has represented the Church of God on the Faith and Order Commission of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA.