Confessions of faith: 'simple statements to unify' : Wednesday, April 27, 2005
April 27 2005 by

Confessions of faith: 'simple statements to unify' : Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Confessions of faith: 'simple statements to unify'

Thank you for the recent article on Baptist confessions of faith. They have played important roles in Baptist history to draw folks of like mind and faith nearer and also to show others what their beliefs are. My wife and I served over two decades in Europe during the Soviet era and worked with Baptists in every European country, first while teaching at the Baptist seminary in Ruschlikon, Switzerland, and then as director for Europe for the Foreign Mission Board. During those communist years, Baptists were either not known or castigated as being some dangerous religious sect far from other Christian traditions. One of my joys was to put together a book in English entitled Baptists in Europe: History and Confessions of Faith, which set each Baptist Union statement in its unique cultural and political context. The different emphases in each country shows how God's people expressed themselves in light of, and in spite of, the political setting in their homeland. The book was an apologetic often used with authorities then and it is used today in some seminary classrooms in the former East bloc lands.

As some of us opened up the work in Albania after the collapse of the self-proclaimed, "Only Atheist Country in the World," I presented a copy to the vice president of parliament and he became tearful while saying, "Oh, I remember the Baptists. They got Bibles in to us many years ago."

European Baptists have been drawn together by their common faith, expressed uniquely in each culture, and have been careful not to judge each other on the basis of local practices. Their confessions have never been creeds to separate, but simple statements to unify in God's love.

G. Keith Parker

Brevard, N.C.

(EDITOR'S NOTE - To obtain a copy of Parker's book, send an e-mail to
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