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Radical Church

By John Caldwell
July 2017 | Review by Trevor Baker
  • Publisher: EP Books
  • ISBN: 978-1-78397-182-4
  • Pages: 168
  • Price: 8.99
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Book Review

In this book, John Caldwell gives a brief analysis of what has gone wrong with the church and the world. David Robertson writes in the foreword, ‘There is very little in this wee book that is new. You can find more detailed analysis of current cultural trends, contemporary church issues, historical developments and in-depth theology elsewhere’ (p.11).

That is true and, indeed, many of the book’s issues are regularly covered by evangelical newspapers and journals. Although the word ‘radical’ appears throughout the book, it is little more than a restatement of traditional evangelical Christian views.

Caldwell deals with the Fall and God’s solution, the cross. He analyses the thinking of our secular, humanistic culture, examining new attitudes to morality and sexuality. He sees that the world has, in many areas, infiltrated the church and caused her to be the less-than-radical counter-culture it was created to be.

This is fine as far as it goes, but, as early as the introduction it is clear that Caldwell’s thinking flows from his Presbyterian views. Although he continually stresses the importance of the Bible and sola Scriptura, it is obvious that the Westminster Confession is the filter through which he understands the Bible.

For not a few readers, there has been a ‘radical church’ since the Reformation — first called ‘Anabaptist’ and now largely represented by Baptist — that does not believe in the connection between church and state, nor in paedobaptism. It is a pity the author did not include this alternative perspective in dealing with this subject.

Trevor A. Baker


One thought on “Radical Church

  1. John Caldwell says:

    Thanks for the review Trevor. Hope you don’t mind me picking up a point or two? It sounds like you’ve read the book as an apologetic for Presbyterianism, and that it neglects to give place to credo-baptists.

    I’m surprised to hear that critique for a few reasons. 1) the publisher, EP Books are baptistic, 2) I intentionally aimed to make it ‘ecumenical’ — I even state that my aim is not for churches to adopt the WCF or the LBCF– but argue that baptists, and Pentecostals need to rediscover both their scriptural and ecclesiastical foundations. 3) I intentionally avoided secondary areas surrounding governance and baptism.

    tbh, the latter part of your review made me wonder if you had read the book right through?



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