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What Would You Do?
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What Would You Do?

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  140 ratings  ·  15 reviews
What would you do if someone attached your grandmother, wife, daughter (or grandfather, husband, sone)? Yoder explores the pros and cons of a nonviolent response. Expanded edition, 148 pages.
Paperback, 146 pages
Published May 1st 1994 by Herald Press (VA) (first published 1983)
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I read this one 3 or 4 times before but it's a wise and intelligent antidote to the current mentality that says the only way to be safe and defend yourself or a loved is to be armed and prepared to use deadly violence against anyone you suspect of being a threat. In spite of the author's behavior problems that injured others, this book is still a significant contribution to the world, and demonstrates, as many Bible stories do, that people who do a lot of harm can also do a lot of good. It's a c ...more
Not every Christian is a pacifist but it is hard to disagree with pacifism on moral grounds. Mostly people point to how impractical pacifism is in the face of real evil. Often people argue against pacifism by pointing to the position's so called Achilles heel, "What if some one attacked your wife/child/family/loved one?"

John Howard Yoder, the late Mennonite theologian wrote this book to answer that question. In part 1 he gives his own reasoned answer to this question. His answer illustrates the
Mitzi Moore
John Yoder, famous Mennonite pacifist theologian, answers the question posed to many pacifists: What would you do if a violent person tried to attack a loved one? He breaks down the assumptions implicit in the question (for example, that the violent person is going to commit heinous acts regardless of how he/she is received). After the philosophical conversation, he includes several really good essays by famous people, not necessarily famous for pacifism. My favorite part of the book, though, we ...more
Logan Mehl-Laituri
The following is a restatement of the major points made by John Howard Yoder in his book What Would You Do? The stated question is the proverbial challenge to any pacifist, Christian or otherwise. Yoder crafts an excellent expose of the fallibility of many of the arguments that lie within that challenge, with the second half of the book including essays and statements of historic and contemporary pacifists. We hope you will find the book as provocative yet refreshing as we have (I can only playf ...more
I loathed this book. I have yet to dislike a book on the level that I dislike Yoder's egotistical exercise that is this precious little book. Why isn't possible to give negative stars? I maintain my fervent belief that everyone is entitled to their opinion. Yoder seems to believe that everyone is entitled to his. Quite simply (you like simple, right J.H.) these were my qualms with this painful read.
First: He is so overly simplistic in his arguments that they are made ridiculous by his own reaso
Danae Hudson
I bought this awhile ago and kept putting off reading it because I thought it would be dry. It was anything but. I enjoyed that there were a number of approaches to Christian nonresistance and nonresistance in general and that there were also examples of how it's worked. A great read! I would recommend it to anyone who is thinking about Christian ethics and what it means to live like Christ.
Michael Miller
A compilation of essays and articles answering the age-old question thrown at Christian pacifists ("what if you wife/child/mother were being attacked. Would you kill to save her/him?) Yoder's introduction is one of the most thoroughly thought out and articulate answers I have ever read.
A good response to the question most often posed to pacifists "What would you do if someone broke in your house and threatened your family?". This short book is both a presentation of answers to and real-life experiences of this question.
Yoder is WONDERFUL. If you don't have time to read The Politics of Jesus, then check out this teeny yet very persuasive argument for an active Christian pacifism. READ IT... even if you don't agree with pacifism.
Aug 06, 2011 Keith added it
A great concise book on alternatives to violence that can disarm and transform your attacker. i think this is good because it prepares you to find another solution in creative and mutually beneficial ways.
Samuel Garcia
5 stars because it fulfills its purpose excellently. If you misunderstand its purpose, you may think it simplistic, idealistic, etc. Yoder's essay displays much thought and care.
Jul 01, 2007 Kirstin rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
This is enlightening and helpful---especially if you believe in Christian pacifism.
Mark Silver
interesting points to ponder, but overly simplistic and idealistic
Less compelling than the rest of Yoder's book that i've read.
Something to think about.......
Daan Savert
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Yoder was a Christian theologian, ethicist, and Biblical scholar best known for his radical Christian pacifism, his mentoring of future theologians such as Stanley Hauerwas, his loyalty to his Mennonite faith, and his 1972 magnum opus, "The Politics of Jesus".
More about John Howard Yoder...

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