Unlearning Protestantism: Sustaining Christian Community in an Unstable Age
In this clearly written and insightful book, Gerald Schlabach addresses the "Protestant dilemma" in ecclesiology: how to build lasting Christian community in a world of individualism and transience. Schlabach, a former Mennonite who is now Catholic, seeks not to encourage readers to abandon Protestant churches but to relearn some of the virtues that all Christian communiti...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Brazos Press
(first published February 1st 2010)
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Schlabach's book is about ways to recover community in the Christian community, and he approaches this issue from the unique perspective of a Mennonite who became a Catholic, and not just a Catholic, but a Benedictine. He begins by outlining the Protestant problem, namely that its approach over the centuries has been the destabilization of Christian community, a problem which was acknowledged by the Reformers and also concerned them, though they were ultimately unable to offer up any long-term s...more
Well, it was a fine read and one that tickled the part of my brain that is so fond of Stanley Hauerwas and front porches. The book is, in part, a reflection on the ways in which the Second Vatican Council laid the groundwork for the Roman church to be a truly global community. Being largely ignorant of the council, I found this very helpful. More importantly, though, the book is an extended reflection on the importance of stability, patience, and empathy within and between traditions (including...more
This one got my attention. Mennonite-turned-Catholic offers several compelling essays on the shortcoming of Protestantism and a more sensitive portrayal of the Catholic Church than most of its internal critics might imagine. Schlabach is part of a network of folks trying to create dialog among Mennonites and Catholics, a challenge I would have once thought impossible. It's hard not to really like this guy.