A signing event for Centered-Set Church, a new book by Mark Baker, Ph.D., started with a surprise.

Introducing Baker March 4, 2022, in the North Fresno Church sanctuary, Tim Geddert, Ph.D., professor and program director of New Testament and interim dean of Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary, noted the difficulty of saying anything new about his long-established and well-respected colleague. But Geddert had something up his sleeve: the announcement of Baker’s appointment to the J.B. Toews Endowed Chair in Mission and Theology.  

Established after the death of Toews, a well-known Mennonite Brethren Leader and past president of the seminary, in 1998, previous occupants of the chair have been Henry Schmidt, Ph.D., and Valerie Rempel, Ph.D. The chair became vacant last summer when Rempel her role as dean of the seminary and vice president of Fresno Pacific University to join the Association of Theological Schools. More about Toews at Toews, John B. "J. B." (1906-1998) - GAMEO

Centered-Set Church offers a path to “Discipleship and Community Without Judgementalism” through reexamining the Christian, and human, tendency to draw lines between those we welcome “in” and those we leave “out.” Baker draws on missionary anthropologist Paul Hiebert’s work relating mathematical set theory to shed light on the nature of Christian community.

In addition to his own remarks, Baker introduced fellow speakers Dylan Aebersold, April Alkema, Randy Ataide, Simon Biasell, Jonna Bohigian and Bill Braun. Each was very important to the book, Baker said.

More on the book, as well as a video series and discussion guide at Centered-Set Church (centeredsetchurch.com)

Enjoy the full North Fresno Church presentation at youtube.com/watch?v=5QKFDTzHnmA


Wayne Steffen
Associate Director of Publications and Media Relations