Baptist World Alliance, BWA News Release

Baptists and Methodists begin theological dialogue

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The first session of the theological dialogue between the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) and the World Methodist Council will be held at Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, in Birmingham, Alabama, in the United States, from January 30 to February 5.

The dialogue is planned for 2014-2018 and will explore the theme, Faith Active in Love: Sung and Preached, Confessed and Remembered, Lived and Learned. It is aimed at achieving a greater understanding of, and appreciation for, one another; mutual exchange of gifts for the enrichment and renewal of Baptist and Methodist churches; increased participation in a common mission and witness in the world; and deeper fellowship and cooperation by identifying and overcoming barriers.

The session in Birmingham includes an overview of Baptist and Methodist history and theological heritage.  It will be hosted by Timothy George, chair of the BWA Commission on Doctrine and Christian Unity and dean and professor of divinity at Beeson Divinity School.

Other BWA representatives include Curtis Freeman, research professor of theology and Baptist Studies at Duke Divinity School in the US; Deji Isaac Ayegboyin, professor and head of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria; Stephen Holmes, senior lecturer in theology at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland; and Valérie Duval-Poujol, professor of Biblical Exegesis at the Catholic Institute in Paris, France, assistant director of the School for Bible and Orientalism and a guest teacher in Protestant theological institutions in France.

BWA General Secretary Neville Callam and Fausto Vasconcelos, BWA director of the Division of Mission, Evangelism and Theological Reflection, will also be at the meetings in Birmingham.

Callam said “participation in bilateral dialogues is an expression of BWA’s commitment to continue the mission of God whose Christ prayed for the unity of the church so that the world might believe.” He declared that “in asking how we might manifest this oneness, we are drawn to the words of the apostle Paul that ‘the only thing that counts is faith working through love.'”

Baptist World Alliance®
© January 28, 2014

The Baptist World Alliance, founded in 1905, is a fellowship of 253 conventions and unions in 130 countries and territories comprising 51 million baptized believers in 176,000 churches. For more than 100 years, the Baptist World Alliance has networked the Baptist family to impact the world for Christ with a commitment to strengthen worship, fellowship and unity; lead in mission and evangelism; respond to people in need through aid, relief, and community development; defend religious freedom, human rights, and justice; and advance theological reflection and leadership development.