Knowing God through Experience: The role of personal testimony in baptismal services among Baptists

Knowing God Through Experience: The role of personal testimony in baptismal services among Baptists. A CHARIS lecture by Dr. Anthony R. Cross, Oxford University. Response from Dr. Everett Ferguson, Abilene Christian University.

Originally presented October 12, 2015, Chapel on the Hill, Abilene Christian University.

“The personal testimonies of baptismal candidates occupy a key place within the baptismal service, and provide a window into Baptist spirituality. Their strength is also their weakness: they are reflections of a believer’s experience of conversion and walk with God, their discipleship. Frequently lacking in theological sophistication, what they lack in theological insight they make up for in heartfelt conviction.”

Dr. Anthony R. Cross is a historian and theologian, a member of the faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of Oxford, and an ordained Baptist minister. He has taught theology and church history at Oxford University, Regent’s Park College, and the University of Roehampton in London, as well as lectured in Britain, Europe, and North America. A specialist on the theology and practice of baptism, particularly understood as a sacrament, he has published Recovering the Evangelical Sacrament (2013).

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Author:  Publish Date: October 21, 2015

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CHARIS hosts conversations of and about Churches of Christ. The website is intended to support education for Christian life and community through contemporary discussions and historical sources that variously witness to the gifts (“charis”) of God among Churches of Christ, especially their plea for visible unity among Christians through ongoing renewal and restoration of Scriptural beliefs and practices among God’s people.

The CHARIS website is supported by Abilene Christian University (Abilene, TX, USA), the Center for Heritage and Renewal in Spirituality (CHARIS) at ACU. The purpose of CHARIS at ACU is to seek God’s blessings for a healthy relationship between the Christian college/university – its faculty, staff, and students – and the church heritage that gives identity and meaning to such a school. This underlying concern for Christian colleges/universities, and their relationship to the churches, is reflected in the form and content of the CHARIS website.

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