Pilgrim Journey guides newly baptized Christians to discern the mysteries of the gospel. It is a sequel and companion volume to Pilgrim Letters (Fortress, 2020). Like its predecessor volume, Pilgrim Journey is a series of letters written by Interpreter, the teacher, to Pilgrim, the newly baptized Christian. The theological and ecclesial scope of the letters is evangelical-catholic, free church-ecumenical, and ancient-future. Each letter is shaped by the prophetic imagination of the biblical illustrations of William Blake and informed by the narrative spirituality of The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan. Pilgrim Journey begins with an introduction into the mystery of redemption hidden through the ages and revealed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The program of instruction contains the exposition of seven mysteries, each of which displays the central mystery of the gospel: (1) God speaks one true word in Jesus Christ; (2) the two Testaments form the one canon of Christian Scripture; (3) the one true God is made known in the three persons of the Holy Trinity; (4) true knowledge of God is discerned through reading the sacred Scripture literally and spiritually, especially in attention to the formation of faith, hope, and love; (5) a clear understanding of God's mysterious providence is aided by a sense of the scope of God's story from creation, covenant, Christ, and church, to consummation; (6) the marking of Christian time attends to God's unfolding revelation in Scripture as shown in the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost; and (7) the infinite reality of God becomes present in finite forms in seven sacramental signs of preaching, baptizing, blessing, breaking bread, washing feet, forgiving sins, and anointing. There is a final summary and conclusion about the way things deep, hidden, and mysterious shape the daily active living of Christians as disciples of Jesus Christ.
Curtis W. Freeman (PhD, Baylor) is research professor of theology and Baptist studies and director of the Baptist House of Studies at Duke Divinity School. He is the author of Undomesticated Dissent: Democracy and the Public Virtue of Religious Nonconformity (2017), Contesting Catholicity: Theology for Other Baptists (2014), A Company of Women Preachers: Baptist Prophetesses in Seventeenth-Century England (2011), and Baptist Roots: A Reader in the Theology of a Christian People (1999). He is an ordained Baptist minister and serves as editor of the American Baptist Quarterly as well as on the Baptist World Alliance Commission on Doctrine and Christian Unity.
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