Lubbock Christian University's own Dr. Jeffrey W. Cary, the Assistant Professor of Theology for the Bible department, published his book "Free Churches and the Body of Christ: Authority, Unity, and Truthfulness." The book, published by Cascade Books, was a revised version of Cary's doctoral dissertation. He wrote it over three-plus years because of his full time teaching position on campus.
"This book represents some of my major theological concerns. Namely, I have been concerned about the increasingly corrosive effects of individualism in American churches. A lack of common acknowledgment about where authority resides and how it functions in the church has led to increased individualism in matters of faith, which has in turn resulted in increasing Christian divisions. So what is motivating my research is a concern for the visible unity of Christians, which I believe should be one of the primary ways Christians witness to the world," Cary said about his motivation for writing it.
The book is directed more specifically at people in a free church tradition who have at least some theological training. Though it can still be read and enjoyed by any who are concerned with the unity of the church, it incorporates high-level theology.
On the back of the book was printed a review by Dr. Barry Harvey of Baylor University. "Cary stands out in this group as one whose love for and depth of insight into his own church heritage, together with a well-honed ability to analyze and incorporate the wisdom of the larger church, is truly remarkable. It deserves a wide and careful read, not just by free church scholars, but by all Christians who are wrestling with this question," he said.
The publishing process was difficult, but Cary had an acquaintance with connections to a publisher. His research caught their attention and they agreed to publish his work. However, the editing rounds of combing through the manuscript to prepare it for publication were difficult and time consuming. Still, the final product was worth it.
Dr. Susan Blassingame, Dean of Liberal Arts at LCU, said, "It's a beautifully published book, and he should be proud of his accomplishment. It speaks well of his scholarship, the esteem of his mentors at Baylor, and his determination.”