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Author Liu, Ping-Tong Herrick
Title Towards an Evangelical spirituality: A practical-theological study of Richard Baxter's teaching and practice of spiritual disciplines with special reference to the Chinese cultural context
book jacket
Descript 239 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 60-04, Section: A, page: 1187
Adviser: Robert J. Banks
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Fuller Theological Seminary, School of Theology, 1999
In recent quest for Evangelical spirituality, many Evangelical scholars has highlighted the need to go back to the roots of the Reformation to rediscover its huge resources for a contemporary spirituality, especially that of Puritanism. In this research I examine a Puritan leader par excellence in seventeenth-century England, Richard Baxter's theology and practice in spirituality. While not neglecting the necessary historical-critical elements in handling Baxter, I propose a practical-theological perspective for assessing his potential contribution to contemporary quest, with special reference to the Chinese cultural context
In short, Baxter's experience reminds us of the danger of Antinomian tendency within certain extreme formulations of Reformed theology and reflected in the practical life of many Christians. His covenant theology provides a case for the Puritan emphasis on the Trinitarian basis of spirituality and suggests a viable alternative to a more judicial perspective which tends to put forth unnecessary dichotomy between grace and human exertion. His understanding of 'responsible grace' is promising in providing a necessary role for human exertion without compromising the full honor of God. His conception of different levels of 'understanding' is suggestive in integrating the unnecessary dichotomy between propositional and personal revelation, and to provide a complementary role for more literary approaches in Scriptural interpretation. His concept of threefold cord of Scripture, Spirit and reason simultaneously nullifies the mystical union and apopathic approach in Catholic spirituality and affirms the importance of reflective aspect of spiritual experience in Christian life, especially the experience of 'walking with God' through practicing duties. He affirms the vocational orientation in Evangelical spirituality but speaks afresh the importance of affective understanding of spiritual reality as a necessary foundation for ministry. His emphasis on the role of Christ as the mediator substantiates an indispensable role of Christ's active obedience in the whole scheme of salvation. He also exemplifies an open but critical approach towards Catholic traditions, and prudentially advises the priority of attending to the Protestant tradition in our quest for Evangelical spirituality. His practical theology is still a living model for us to consider as we are aware more and more the importance of integration between theology, ethics and spirituality
Therefore my contention is that if Evangelicalism is a sleeping giant of spirituality, Richard Baxter is the stimulus that could awaken contemporary Evangelical spirituality from its theological slumbers
School code: 0652
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 60-04A
Subject Religion, General
Religion, Philosophy of
Theology
0318
0322
0469
Alt Author Fuller Theological Seminary, School of Theology
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