HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement
Author: Douglas A. Foster, Paul M. Blowers, Anthony L. Dunnavant, and D. Newell Williams, editors
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., republished 2012
ISBN-13: 978-0802838988 hardback
ISBN-10: 0802838987 hardback
ISBN-13 : 978-0802869753 paperback
ISBN-10 : 0802869750 paperback
Related website(s): http://www.eerdmans.com (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Older teens and adults
Rating: ***** 5 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Foster, Douglas A.; Blowers, Paul M.; Dunnavant , Anthony L.; and Williams, D. Newell, editors. The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement Hardcover – January 15,
(Published in 2004 by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2140 Oak Industrial Dr. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505). Those of us who seek to identify as non-denominational, New Testament Christians believe that “the seed is the word” and that wherever the pure word of God is preached the true church of our Lord Jesus Christ will result without regard to any specific “historical movements.” However, historians have to deal with “historical movements.” With its roots in British and American endeavors to restore apostolic Christianity, the “Stone-Campbell Movement,” or what I grew up hearing called “the restoration movement,” drew its inspiration from the independent efforts of nineteenth-century religious reformers Barton W. Stone and the father-son team of Thomas and Alexander Campbell, along with many others.
The union of these two movements in the 1830s and the phenomenally rapid growth of the new body thrust it into a place of significance in early nineteenth-century America, and it quickly spread to other parts of the English-speaking world. From its beginnings this Movement has developed into three major American communions — Churches of Christ, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and Christian Churches/Churches of Christ — as well as churches in several other countries. Over ten years in the making, The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement offers for the first time a sweeping historical and theological treatment of this complex global communion. Written by more than 300 contributors across the Stone-Campbell Movement, this major reference work contains over 700 original articles covering all of the significant individuals, events, places, churches, and theological tenets that have characterized the Movement.
This book was recommended to me by my good friend, fellow gospel preacher, and one of the contributors Steve Wolfgang. It is not the kind of volume which most people would sit down and simply read through (although when I was growing up, I could often be found sitting down and just reading through dictionaries and encyclopedias). I did page through The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement and read many of those articles which caught my attention or appealed to me. I certainly have my own strong convictions on religious matters, but I will have to admit that it attempts to present a fair, representative picture of the rich heritage that is the Stone-Campbell Movement. Scores of photographs and illustrations from around the world (many quite rare) enrich and enliven the text, and an extensive, carefully prepared index for rapid reference facilitates ready access to important information throughout the volume.