The entire story is at http://www.abpnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4156&Itemid=53 ARLINGTON, Texas (ABP) -- Pragmatism and tradition have stood alongside biblical and theological principles in shaping Baptist ordination practices, church historian Karen Bullock said at the recent B.H. Carroll Theological Institute colloquy. “The concept of ordination as practiced by Baptists today is a complex -- even problematic -- notion resting tenuously upon biblical, theological and even traditional pillars,” Bullock said. The practices of “setting apart” and “laying on hands” for those called to some special service role in the church clearly have biblical roots, she noted -- but later understandings of ordination also were influenced by the Roman Catholic tradition of “holy orders” and “solemn appointment." “In the earliest years of the Baptist story, Baptists were -- like their immediate Anabaptist, Puritan and Separatist predecessors -- very concerned about the biblical warrant for their practices,” Bullock said. When Baptists first began to practice ordination on a regular basis, each congregation would select its pastor, he would present evidence of calling and giftedness, and the church subsequently would ordain him to serve that specific congregation, she noted. Although ministers seldom moved from one church to another, if they did, they would go through the same process -- including laying on hands -- at each place.