The End of Protestantism
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The End of Protestantism : Pursuing Unity in a Fragmented Church

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The Failure of Denominationalism and the Future of Christian Unity One of the unforeseen results of the Reformation was the shattering fragmentation of the church. Protestant tribalism was and continues to be a major hindrance to any solution to Christian division and its cultural effects. In this book, influential thinker Peter Leithart critiques American denominationalism in the context of global and historic Christianity, calls for an end to Protestant tribalism, and presents a vision for the future church that transcends post-Reformation divisions. Leithart offers pastors and churches a practical agenda, backed by theological arguments, for pursuing local unity now. Unity in the church will not be a matter of drawing all churches into a single, existing denomination, says Leithart. Returning to Catholicism or Orthodoxy is not the solution. But it is possible to move toward church unity without giving up our convictions about truth. This critique and defense of Protestantism urges readers to preserve and celebrate the central truths recovered in the Reformation while working to heal the wounds of the body of Christ.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 225 pages
  • 150 x 234 x 25mm | 476g
  • Baker Publishing Group
  • Brazos Press, Div of Baker Publishing Group
  • Ada, MI, United States
  • English
  • 158743377X
  • 9781587433771
  • 218,702

Flap copy

One of the unforeseen results of the Reformation was the shattering fragmentation of the church. The End of Protestantism critiques American denominationalism in the context of global and historic Christianity, calls for an end to Protestant tribalism, and presents a vision for the future church that transcends post-Reformation divisions. "This uncommonly courageous book goes where too few of us who love Christ's church dare to go. Leithart provides a nuanced, historically textured, and clear-eyed perspective (his 'short game') on our myriad Protestant divisions. He rightly believes that our constant divisions are a major factor in the present dissolution of the church in the West. In short, he believes that we have created walls where we should have built bridges. But his 'long game' is what gives me incredible hope. His insights have transformed my life as a teacher and practitioner of deep Christian unity. If we honestly desire to address the really big questions about Protestantism's tragic divisions, and then prayerfully consider how to respond in faith, hope, and love, we can find no better resource than The End of Protestantism. Be prepared to rethink everything you've known if you are a thoughtful Protestant." --John H. Armstrong, president and founder, ACT3 Network, Carol Stream, Illinois "This is a book to read in community--whether in a book group, a Sunday school class, or a course in ecclesiology. Best of all would be to read it with an ecumenical gathering of Christian friends and colleagues. The conversation will surely be lively. Every reader is certain to find things that challenge and exasperate, as well as things that enlighten and delight. And when the discussion is over, maybe--just maybe--your community will be equipped to take a step or two toward more genuine catholicity." --Laura Smit, Calvin Collegeshow more

Back cover copy

"This is one book on church unity that could actually make a difference" "Leithart simply cannot write a dull book. He cannot because he has the courage and intellect to go to the heart of the matter. In this book he explores the coming unity we pray God intends for the church. He does so with his usual scholarship and wise judgments. One can only hope for this vision for the future of the church to be realized." --Stanley Hauerwas, Duke Divinity School "I had given up trying to find--short of the Lord's return--an alternative to the tribalism of divisive denominationalism and the 'unity' efforts of mainstream ecumenism. Peter Leithart has convinced me that I gave up too easily. This groundbreaking book combines exciting ecclesiological explorations with some practical steps for moving forward prior to the eschaton." --Richard J. Mouw, Fuller Theological Seminary "Peter Leithart is my kind of ecumenist. He is deeply disturbed by the church's disunity and deeply committed to seeing our many fractures healed, and--this is the key--he is committed to doing so in a way that is both theological and practical. This is one book on church unity that could actually make a difference." --Mark Galli, editor of Christianity Today "Leithart's provocative call for the death of Protestantism is likely to cause discomfort among those eager to hold on to their denominational particularities. But make no mistake: Leithart not only takes on his fellow Protestants; his postdenominational Christianity also chastises the sectarianism of Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. The urgent and fearless ecumenical proposal of The End of Protestantism holds out for the end of all tribal badges within the visible unity of a reformed Catholic church." --Hans Boersma, Regent College "The bold title of this book presages an equally daring theological argument: faithfulness to Christ and the gospel demands the visible unity of all Christians. The author sketches his capacious and informed vision of the demise of denominationalism and the birth of 'Reformational Catholicism.' One of the most creative theologians writing today, Leithart here offers an incisive and compelling volume urging the churches to become what Christ commands: the one body of the Lord. Highly recommended." --Thomas G. Guarino, Seton Hall University; cochairman, Evangelicals and Catholics Togethershow more

About Peter J Leithart

Peter J. Leithart (PhD, University of Cambridge), a former pastor, is president of Theopolis Institute in Birmingham, Alabama, and adjunct senior fellow of theology and literature at New Saint Andrews College. He is the author of numerous books, including Traces of the Trinity, Athanasius, and 1 & 2 Kings in the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible. He is also a contributing editor for Touchstone and a regular blogger at firstthings.com.show more

Rating details

66 ratings
3.74 out of 5 stars
5 20% (13)
4 42% (28)
3 30% (20)
2 8% (5)
1 0% (0)
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