The book is a collection of twenty-one essays discussing how Baptists throughout the world have related to other Christians and to other institutions and movements over the centuries.
The theme of this collection of twenty-one essays, 'Baptists and Others', includes relations with other Christians and with other institutions and movements. What, the authors ask, has been the Baptist experience of engaging with different groups and developments? The theme has been explored by means of case studies, some of which are very specific in time and place while others cover long periods and more than one country. In the first half the contents are arranged by period. The first section examines early Baptists, the second nineteenth-century Baptists in Britain and America and the third Baptists in the twentieth century. The second half turns to various parts of the world. There is a section on Australia, another on New Zealand and a third on Asia and Africa. The overall picture is one of a complicated series of relationships as Baptists defined themselves as different from other bodies and yet, especially in the twentieth century, tried to co-operate in mission and ecumenical endeavour.
'Baptists are often regarded as enthusiastic separatists and unenthusiastic ecumenists. These essays, based on hard evidence rather than passing impressions, are a necessary correction to superficial prejudices and show the reality to be much more complex and nuanced, as well as varied over time and place. The book is a smorgasbord of delights. Yet, readers should avoid the temptation to pick and choose from the menu, ensuring rather that each offering is digested so they enjoy a balance and nutritious meal.' Derek Tidball