This book is a must read for any social-justice-y christian who has written off working class whites as part of the problem. This book just rocked my...moreThis book is a must read for any social-justice-y christian who has written off working class whites as part of the problem. This book just rocked my world. After two years working as a pastor in a small rural town in Kansas, it instantly brought numerous situations, issues and people into focus. At the very least, every Mennonite pastor coming out of seminary needs to read this book.(less)
Alan and Eleanor Kreider's new book that draws on worship and mission in the early church to gain insights for what church can/should/will be in the c...moreAlan and Eleanor Kreider's new book that draws on worship and mission in the early church to gain insights for what church can/should/will be in the changing religious landscape as Christendom comes to an end. So far, it's fantastic. Although, anything by these authors is pretty much fantastic.(less)
Overall he does a very good job of articulating the core convictions of a particular group of people who are coming to Anabaptism from outside of the...moreOverall he does a very good job of articulating the core convictions of a particular group of people who are coming to Anabaptism from outside of the historical tradition. The core convictions (and the book) are strongly shaped by a lens of anti-Christendom, separation of church and state, and an understanding and skepticism of larger societal systems. If find myself resonating strongly with the 7 core convictions that he puts out, but I think that is because I probably come from a similar place on these others issues as well.
I did find myself questioning whether or not this description of the core of Anabaptism would apply to most modern Mennonites. I find myself coming to the conclusion that most Mennonites I know don't actually look like this. The most salient point on this though was that when talking about Anabaptism, there are many people who are outside of the historical tradition who are deeply rooted in Anabaptism and many within the tradition who are not, regardless of what title either might carry.
He seems to have a decent and strong grasp on the history of the 16th Ce. This is kind of a big deal because if one is going to call yourself an Anabaptist, then you'd better have the basics down.
My biggest critique is that he minimizes the influence of the Holy Spirit. I don't think he gives the influence of the real presence of the Holy Spirit enough credit in his analysis of the 16th Ce. history. Nor does he make it a core conviction either. Perhaps it's an accurate representation of the Anabaptist Network, but I would hope that it would have a bit higher place. This isn't to throw to many stones because, in practice, I would have a similar minimization of the Spirit, I just know it's a deficiency and am trying to remedy it.
Overall, I found it to be helpful and clarifying. It challenges my own beliefs and practices and it provides a helpful perspective of someone who has found, chosen and fallen in love with the tradition.(less)