FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – B&H Academic Vice President Jim Baird presented Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Paige Patterson with a copy of the recently published book, titled The Anabaptists and Contemporary Baptists, Restoring New Testament Christianity: Essays in Honor of Paige Patterson, during a seminary chapel service, Oct. 15.
“Obviously, Dr. Patterson, this book is to honor you for the work that you’ve done with the Anabaptists and all the insights you have brought,” Baird said. “But I want to tell you that it is also for your service to our Lord and to His church, and it is to thank you for having the courage and character to lead sometimes when others would not.”
The volume is largely composed of essays presented at Southwestern’s conference on Anabaptists in January 2012, with many of the authors being current or former doctoral students under Patterson.
“I’m well aware of the fact that (the book) represents my antiquity,” said Patterson, “and I nevertheless appreciate it.
“For a festschrift volume—which is a German word that has to do with an anniversary volume normally put together by the students of a professor—this is the most beautiful volume I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s incredible.”
Unique to the book is a section with photos taken from a spring 2012 Anabaptist study tour through Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and the Czech Republic, which was led by Patterson and Malcolm Yarnell, a professor at the seminary and editor of the book.
R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., contributed a preface for the book, and Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, N.C., wrote the introduction.
Some of the more noted contributors include Saddleback Church pastor Rick Warren, Anabaptist scholar Abraham Friesen, Truett-McConnell College president Emir Caner, Cedarville University president Thomas White, Southwestern Seminary vice president Jason Duesing, and Yarnell. Additionally, an essay by Patterson himself was included.
The book is broken into three sections: theology, Balthasar Hubmaier, and history. The first section includes sections on Anabaptist theology, including their theological method and views on religious liberty. The second section highlights Hubmaier, an Anabaptist theologian whose views are similar to those of contemporary Baptists, particularly those related to political theology. The final section emphasizes important individuals and movements among the Anabaptists.
Southwestern’s Fall 2012 issue of Southwestern News magazine featured stories on the Anabaptists and the study tour, which can be viewed at swbts.edu/southwesternnews/snfa12.