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Biblical Foundations for Baptist Churches: A Contemporary Ecclesiology

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  233 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Most North American churches take a pragmatic approach to church life. We are concerned with being relevant to the culture and ultimately growing at a steady rate. While these issues are certainly legitimate, they also create a danger that our churches will be shaped more by these extrabiblical goals than by the biblical mandate of God. Utilizing the Scriptures, theology, ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published October 28th 2005 by Kregel Academic & Professional
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Kirk Miller
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Excellent book.

Well-written. Well-researched. Thoughtful. Generally fair to alternative positions.

One of its best strengths -- thoroughly Biblical. He engages in critical exegetical and synthetical (or: systematizing) examination of scripture.

Main complaint (and I say this as one who adheres to Baptist distinctives) -- I think he overestimates the clarity of scripture's testimony to what we call "congregationalism" today, especially in his engagement with what is called "elder rule" polity. Furt
Kaitlyn Pindak
I really enjoyed this read! I honestly didn’t think I would because I didn’t grow up Baptist and didn’t have an interest in the history, but it’s amazing how when you start learning something that you realize how much you needed it! I think this book is excellent for pastors but also for people like me, church members who want to grow and be obedient! Loved it.
5/5 🌟
May 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I think this is the defining work for Baptist Churches and Baptist Ecclesiology for the past decade. For Baptists, it's obviously mandatory reading, but I think any Christian from any other denomination who has ever struggled with their church's decision making process, ministry structures, and ministry operations should consider this work. If you're curious about what the Bible says about the way God desires for His church to function, then you must include Hammet's Biblical Foundations in your ...more
Dec 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A VERY VERY BIBLICAL AND PRACTICAL BOOK. The best i ve ever read on ecclesiology. It points some of the biblical baptist practices we are trying to get rid of today. I recommand it not only to baptist ministers but to all ministers. It ties history with the Bible and contemporary church life.
Nathan Parker
Oct 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Hammett offers a solid Baptist Ecclesiology and an ideal Ecclesiology textbook to be used in Baptist Bible colleges and seminaries. Part 1 examines what the church is, with Chapter 1 focusing on the nature of the church. He examines the term ekklesia and its New Testament usage. He also covers the images of the church as: the people of God, the body of Christ, and the temple of the spirit.

Chapter 2 covers the marks of the church. Hammett begins by drawing on the Apostle’s Creed to examine the on
Bret James Stewart
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Hammett grapples with the foundational concepts of what it means to be a church from the biblical perspective. He presents an ecclesiology based upon biblical principle and practical concerns. Overall, I think this book is well researched and presented in an easy to understand manner. The author is Baptist, and he presents the Baptist historical practice as the most biblically-aligned, which is what one would hope a member of a certain group would do as he would be foolish to remain in a church ...more
Jan 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
If you are considering reading this book and the word “Baptist” in the title is keeping you from reading this do not let it. The author does a tremendous job objectively and biblically evaluating the question “What is the Church?”

The book covers a lot of ground from church history, church governance, church movements of today, and even where the church is heading. I personally have not read anything in the ecclesiology genre until now and I am so grateful that I did. This book has given me the
Nate Hoover
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have it four stars because it gave a good description of Baptist ecclesiology a la the Southern Baptist Convention and historic Baptists.

In the book you've got a pretty good historical survey on the issues it covers, some word studies on words used for church, and a piecing together of a theology of church from an SBC perspective.

Some cool insights: the church isn't the church until Pentecost in the Gospels-Acts narrative. Indeed there's no such thing as "fellowship" until the Holy Spirit is
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very well put together and enlightening read. There are certainly a few arguments that fall short of being convincing, as well as a few sections that could use more expansion. However, for the most part, this is a very helpful starting place to begin conversation about why Baptist churches do what they do; where change is needed, and some thoughtful recommendations regarding how those changes might take place.
Andrew Watkins
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dr. Hammett is an expert when it comes to ecclesiology. I had the privilege having him as my theology professor in seminary and he had a huge impact on me. This book is a heavy read for anyone only casually interested in ecclesiology, but would be a great resource for those leading churches. As I read it, I could almost hear Dr. Hammett’s voice lecturing as the content of the book is essentially the same as his seminary course content on ecclesiology.
Joshua Reichard
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
A helpful and deep book about the church. This book should be a must read for all church members. It will help them think about church life, why the church does what it does, elders, deacons, baptism, the lords supper, and on and on it goes. Men and women of the church need to know why the church does what it does and this book gives a great picture of that, with a focus on Baptist polity.
Dennis Thurman
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hammet’s clarion call is for Baptist churches to be faithful to the Word of God. While he is kind and not condemning of contemporary church growth movements, he points out genuine concerns. This book can form the basis for a series of messages on the church that cries out to be preached in this culture.
Josiah Richardson
Hammett walks through the basis of the Baptist denomination, showcasing some of its origins, but mostly nailing down what theological convictions are held by those who call themselves baptists. The distinctiveness is juxtaposed between other common denominations with scriptural support of those particulars.

Used for Southern Baptist Heritage and Mission at SBTS
Daniel Kleven
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent. Maybe my favorite book on ecclesiology, by the Systematic Theology professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (and endorsed by both Danny Akin and Jonathan Leeman).
Troy Nevitt
Dec 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good Baptist resource to understand ecclesiology in Baptistic polity.
Aug 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a great primer on both the biblical and historical rational behind Baptist Ecclesiology. There was a healthy balance between contemporary reflection on how baptists churches could improve, and he often gave concrete ideas for implementing changes for the better. Of particular interest were his discussions on regenerate membership, which seems to have been all but ignored in many contemporary churches that would otherwise claim the doctrine, and general discussion on congregational polit ...more
Nov 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book's subtitle, "A Contemporary Ecclesiology" is much more informative of what it is actually about than its title. While it is from a Baptist perspective, Hammett's ecclesiology is solid, informative and encouraging and should be read by more than just Baptists. It helped me piece together aspects of the Christian life such as communion, baptism and church leadership that are not talked about as much as the more popular theological topics such as predestination/free will, etc. It also bri ...more
Preston Chastine
May 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was very thorough and I enjoyed reading it. I do not line up with all of his views and I am baptist, but it was good for me to read it and to interact with his thoughts. In me actually disagreeing with some areas of this book it helped me solidify where I stand in regard to ecclesiology.

- He does an excellent job of explaining the history of certain beliefs throughout his book to help the reader gain a better grasp on the subject.
- He keeps certain doctrines and beliefs
Beth Olson
May 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
As a new Christian, and even newer Baptist, I found this book to be helpful in the understanding of what make a Baptist a Baptist. There is one section specifically aimed at pastors and elder, so I just skimmed most of that. All-in-all, very instructional for those who are Baptists to give insight on the history of the sect; and a guide for not-yet or newer Baptists in what to expect when you become a member.
Jan 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
This book was really good. Of course, I was forced to read it by the Professor, who in fact wrote it. But it was a great overview of the Baptist church and how they are structured.
Not for everyone, but for those interested in the Baptist church and its style.
Michael Dickerson
Oct 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books on ecclesiology that I've read, far more interesting than the title might suggest. Regardless of your denominational affiliation, this is a must read...for all members of the church.
Nathan Schneider
Jun 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: baptists
Great read for pastors/ leaders or those interested in ecclesiology (study of the church). A combination of Scriptural authority, historical background, and modern application, this book could be a helpful resource for pastors.
Cody Cunningham
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: church, theology
A very clear and excellent treatment of Baptist ecclesiology. I really appreciated how fairly he treated differing viewpoints, especially when he was discussing various debates within Baptist circles. If you want a clear understanding of Baptist ecclesiology, this is a book you should read.
Sep 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
A good read for anyone who wants to understand baptist churches and why they are structured the way they are. His chapter on church discipline pretty much kicked me in the teeth.
Matthew Marshall
Sep 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Very informative, however it has earned the #1 spot on my dryest reads.
Oct 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
A book full of eisegesis rather than exegesis.
Ryan Linkous
Oct 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
While I didn't agree with every point Hammett makes, I really enjoyed reading this book. He gives great biblical rationale for Baptist churches. ...more
Andrew Mulnix
Feb 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the section on the Lord's Supper. ...more
Brent McCulley
Jun 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: theology
Better organized and more interactive with divergent opinions; defends Baptist ecclesiology in a decent manner.
David Saxon
Nov 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Excellent Baptist ecclesiology - balanced, fair, judicious, and usually right in my opinion
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“In 1979, certain leaders within the Southern Baptist Convention began a concerted effort to address what they saw as a theological drift in some of that denomination's seminaries and agencies. Over a fifteen-year period, they were able to bring about a remarkable change in the direction of those seminaries and agencies, such that one writer has called it "the Baptist Reformation."-” 0 likes
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