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The End of Protestantism: Pursuing Unity in a Fragmented Church

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One of the unforeseen results of the Reformation was the shattering fragmentation of the church. Protestant tribalism was and continues to be a major hindrance to any solution to Christian division and its cultural effects. In this book, influential thinker Peter Leithart critiques American denominationalism in the context of global and historic Christianity, calls for an end to Protestant tribalism, and presents a vision for the future church that transcends post-Reformation divisions.

Leithart offers pastors and churches a practical agenda, backed by theological arguments, for pursuing local unity now. Unity in the church will not be a matter of drawing all churches into a single, existing denomination, says Leithart. Returning to Catholicism or Orthodoxy is not the solution. But it is possible to move toward church unity without giving up our convictions about truth. This critique and defense of Protestantism urges readers to preserve and celebrate the central truths recovered in the Reformation while working to heal the wounds of the body of Christ.

  • Encourages Christians to strive in the Spirit toward a new way of being church
  • Proposes a move of Protestant churches toward full reunion
  • Examines the state of the global church and contrasts it with the American denominational system
  • Movement One: Church United
  • Movement Two: Church Divided
  • Movement Three: Divided Church Dissolving
  • Movement Four: United Church Reborn
Leithart simply cannot write a dull book. He cannot because he has the courage and intellect to go to the heart of the matter. In this book he explores the coming unity we pray God intends for the church. He does so with his usual scholarship and wise judgments. One can only hope for this vision for the future of the church to be realized.

—Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor Emeritus of Divinity and Law, Duke Divinity School

I had given up trying to find--short of the Lord's return—an alternative to the tribalism of divisive denominationalism and the ‘unity’ efforts of mainstream ecumenism. Peter Leithart has convinced me that I gave up too easily. This groundbreaking book combines exciting ecclesiological explorations with some practical steps for moving forward prior to the eschaton.

—Richard J. Mouw, professor of faith and public life, Fuller Theological Seminary

Leithart’s provocative call for the death of Protestantism is likely to cause discomfort among those eager to hold on to their denominational particularities. But make no mistake: Leithart not only takes on his fellow Protestants; his postdenominational Christianity also chastises the sectarianism of Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. The urgent and fearless ecumenical proposal of The End of Protestantism holds out for the end of all tribal badges within the visible unity of a reformed Catholic church.

—Hans Boersma, J. I. Packer Professor of Theology, Regent College

Peter Leithart is President of Theopolis Institute and serves as Teacher at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Birmingham. He is the author of many books, including a two-volume commentary on Revelation (T&T Clark, 2018), God of Hope (Athanasius, 2022), On Earth As In Heaven (Lexham, 2022), and a forthcoming book on God the Creator (IVP). He writes a fortnightly column at FirstThings.com, and has published articles in many periodicals, both popular and academic.

Leithart has served in two pastorates: He was pastor of Reformed Heritage Presbyterian Church (now Trinity Presbyterian Church), Birmingham, Alabama from 1989 to 1995, and was pastor of Trinity Reformed Church, Moscow, Idaho, from 2003-2013. From 1998 and 2013 he taught theology and literature fulltime at New St. Andrews College, Moscow, Idaho. He received an A.B. in English and History from Hillsdale College in 1981, and a Master of Arts in Religion and a Master of Theology from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia in 1986 and 1987. In 1998 he received his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge in England.

He and his wife, Noel, have ten children and fifteen grandchildren.


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    Digital list price: $24.99
    Save $4.00 (16%)

    Gathering interest