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The Original Revolution: Essays on Christian Pacifism
This is the original revolution: the creation of a distinct community with its alternate set of values and its coherent way of incarnating them. Second edition 2003, 200 pages.
Paperback, (Christian Peace Shelf Series), 202 pages
Published June 1st 1971 by Herald Press (VA)
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this is the book that caused me to fall in love with theology. though I don't align myself as closely with the anabaptist tradition anymore, this is a powerful piece of christian writing. yoder is direct, simple, and difficult to contradict. he can even get a church of christ boy to study theology.
Quite a read for under 200 pages. Notre Dame educated Mennonite John Howard Yoder brings more to the pacifist/non-violent argument than Howard Zinn ever did for me. This is also one of the best and most clear readings of Saint Matthew's The Sermon on the Mount I've ever read within the Christian tradition.
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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“There are times when a society is so totally controlled by an ideology that the greatest need is that someone simply identify a point where he can say a clear no in the name of his loyalty to a higher authority. We have no right to say that those who refused to enroll in the racist crusade of Adolf Hitler should first have been obligated practically or morally to propose an alternative social strategy before they had the right to refuse.”
“What do I communicate to a man about the love of God by being willing to consider him an enemy? What do I say about personal responsibility by agreeing to consider him my enemy when it is only the hazard of birth that causes us to live under different flags? What do I say about forgiveness if I punish him for the sins of his rulers? How is it reconcilable with the gospel —good news—for the last word in my estimate of any man to be that, in a case of extreme conflict, it could be my duty to sacrifice his life for the sake of my nation, my security, or the political order which I prefer?”More quotes…