R. David Nelson is Acquisition Editor for Baker Academic and Brazos Press, USA. Charles Raith II is Assistant Professor of Religion and Philosophy and Director of the Paradosis Center for Theology and Scripture at John Brown University, USA.
Nelson and Raith provide an introduction to ecumenism that is positive though not uncritical, concise yet thorough, scholarly but accessible. * Reading Religion * It is well designed for use as an introductory textbook for a classroom setting, though it could also serve as a stand-alone book. It is written for and highly recommended for those with a formal theological education but no prior experience in ecumenism. * Exchange * This lucid introduction to the modern ecumenical movement offers an informative and reliable overview of its history and obstacles. The result is a broad, yet theologically astute orientation to ecumenism. Particularly noteworthy is the claim that contemporary ecumenism is unintelligible apart from the contributions of evangelical Christianity. Nelson and Raith's passion for the church's unity will draw in many of those skeptical of ecumenism. * Hans Boersma, Regent College, Canada * Nelson and Raith here offer a perceptive and penetrating analysis of the history, accomplishments, and difficulties attending the ecumenical movement. In briskly written chapters, entirely suitable for students, they summarize the debates over basic theological difference , over the ongoing reception of agreements, and over the ultimate goal of ecumenical dialogue. This volume is an exceedingly useful and deeply significant milestone in contemporary ecumenical studies. * Thomas G. Guarino, Seton Hall University, USA * This volume is a work of penitence. Recognizing the disjunction between Jesus' prayer for unity and the indifference among contemporary Christians over the fragmented state of the church, Nelson and Raith come to us not as dispassionate commentators or naive idealists; they are personal guides on an honest journey toward ecclesial unity. Erudite and warmhearted, they explain why ecumenism is an imperative for all Christians in whom the Spirit dwells. * Chris Castaldo, New Covenant Church, Naperville, USA * As a Catholic theologian, I know that I cannot do justice to any doctrinal topic without carefully reading and learning from what Orthodox and Protestant Christians teach about it - but before reading this book I doubted that anyone needed a book on the ecumenical movement itself. Nelson and Raith's eloquent and incisive book has completely converted me. One finds here not only a short masterwork of historical theology, but also a properly theological approach to measuring the history and purposes of the past century of Christian ecumenism, attentive to important areas of difference and agreement alike. This jewel of a book is an extraordinary resource for all Christians who today hear the Spirit's urgent call to draw near to each other in Christ. * Matthew Levering, Mundelein Seminary, USA *