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Body Politics: Five Practices of the Christian Community Before the Watching World

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  267 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Binding and loosing, baptism, eucharist, multiplicity of gifts, and open meeting; these five New Testament practices were central in the life of the early Christian community. Some of them are still echoed in the practice of the church today. But the full social, ethical, and communal meaning of the original practices has often been covered by centuries of ritual and inter ...more
Paperback, 90 pages
Published March 1st 2001 by Herald Press (first published June 1st 1989)
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Jan 31, 2008 marked it as to-read
everyone needs a little yoder in their life.
Nick Klagge
Nov 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Like Yoder's "The Politics of Jesus," this is an excellent book (if much shorter). Through very straightforward discussion of five practices of the Christian community, Yoder manages to gesture toward what strikes me as an ideal vision of Christianity. He draws heavily on scripture for understanding, but, like many of my favorite authors (in any field), he staunchly insists on "making it new"--he sees tradition as an important inspiration but refuses to see even the early apostolic church as a g ...more
Trevor Thompson
Oct 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
"The Christian community, like any community help together by commitment to important values, is a political reality" (viii).

"To be human is to have differences; to be human wholesomely is to process those differences, not by building up conflicting power claims but by reconciling dialogue" (8).

"What the New Testament is talking about wherever the theme is "breaking bread" is that people actually were sharing with one another their ordinary day-to-day material sustenance. It is not enough to say
James Klagge
Sep 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
While this was not quite as good as Yoder's "Politics of Jesus", it was close--and that's saying a lot. In this short book he looks at 5 practices of Christian life that are or should be sacraments: dealing with wrong-doing, communion, baptism, discerning of gifts, and the conduct of meetings. He finds the ways in which all of these are/can be distinctive expressions of Christian redemptive life that also have something valuable to show the non-Christian world. Calling them all sacraments might ...more
Jul 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Yoder's book articulates some ideas that have been percolating within for some time, but had yet to find any kind of clear expression--certainly nothing approaching the degree of clarity he offers in this surprisingly (based on its brevity) meaty volume. As he notes in his subtitle, Yoder focuses his attention on five practices Christians have had at various times in the church's history, and should have today.

The book approaches Christianity from the ground up, looking at simple commands assoc
Brian Hohmeier
May 22, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ethics
Body Politics reads as little more than an unapologetic and sometimes tactless apology of anabaptistic practical theology. Yoder here displays a cursory and distinct lack of sympathy when it comes to the practices of Reformed and 'high' sacramental churches. This itself would be understandable if it did not shortchange Yoder on his own thesis--that the defining practices of Gospel community (binding and loosing, table-sharing, baptism, egalitarian ministry, and open meetings) are culturally and ...more
Feb 13, 2010 rated it liked it
In this very short book (80 pages!), Yoder looks at five practices of the Christian community. First is binding and loosing, or, in other words, reconciliation (and moral discernment). Second is breaking bread together, simply eating together in a fellowship open to all people. In most churches this is today the Eucharist or communion. Third is a discussion of baptism, the radical idea that one new humanity has been created out of disparate people (such as Jew and Gentile in the first century). ...more
Helge Seekamp
Apr 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Die Deutsche Übersetzung von 2011, Neufeld Verlag, Die Politik des Leibes Christi. Als Gemeinde zeichenhaft leben.
Mein zweites Buch von Yoder. Ich bin weiterhin voll begeistert. Ein weiteres Mussbuch.
Er beschreibt 5 "Praktiken", die er Sakramente nennt (2 davon Abendmahl und Taufe).

"Alle fünf der von uns betrachteten Handlungsweisen können als soziale Prozesse beschrieben werden und sie lassen sich in nicht-religiöse Begriffe übersetzen. Die Vielfalt der Gaben ist ein Modell zur Ermächtigung d
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: school-reading
The reason I enjoy reading Yoder, even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, is that he promotes universal principles. The universals are where I see my “god-image”. Love, justice, equality, validation, community…these are all the primary messages in any reading of Yoder. This can apply to the secular world just as much as it does to theology majors. There is no dogmatism in Yoder, no exclusion. His message can be read, appreciated and practiced by anyone because it is not a religious mess ...more
Aug 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a book I keep coming back to. In it Yoder lays out 5 practices that are laid out for the church in Scripture. These 5 practices are necessary for the church, because, when properly done, they help members to live together in the peace of Christ. It is a very Anabaptist look at sacraments, with very little room for mystery. But Yoder does a great job of showing the functional benefit of 5 Christian practices.
Jun 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology, christian
Really short book looking at five New Testament practices: binding and loosing, baptism, eucharist, multiplicity of gifts, and open meeting. He explains that these were central to the life of the New Testament community and he gives some fresh perspective on what they might mean for the church today.
Sean Watkins
Mar 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Body Politics is a good book, reflecting many New Testament principles of community and the church that are lacking significantly in the West.
My major critique of the book lies not in its argument, but with its writer. Yoder wrote this book based on theology and ethics, but his character compromises its integrity.
Kate Davis
Apparently, I'm pretty Anabaptist in my theologies. Great, broad understanding of Eucharist here. Only problematic part for me was reading his emphasis on hearing every voice (Chapter 5)while being aware of his proprietorial sexual behavior; he doesn't make room for the voices of his victims. ...more
Matt Black
Jul 22, 2011 rated it liked it
A great pracitcal book for the Anabaptist traditions...
Larry Taylor
Jan 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
yoder is a renowned peace-church theologian. i highly recommend his books as a balance to militaristic christianity
April Vinding
Dec 08, 2008 rated it it was ok
Not particularly good reading, but the title was irresistible. Interesting to consider the practices of the church as something the world watches. (Duh. But I guess I easily forget.)
Ian Guy
Jun 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual-growth
How a proper living of five Christian practices are vital to the health of the church : binding & loosing; Lords Supper; Baptism; shared gifts & ministry: meetings for worship.
Evan Spencer
Aug 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Accessible, relevant and challenging. Good read for anyone musing ecclesiology and it's formation of communities of faith. ...more
Dean Holbrough
Great book.

Ideas tumble from every page. Not dated in any way.

Inspired me to practice more of the faith I hold.

Loved his "third way" of looking at interpreting the bible.
Jul 09, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, religion
Most of it didn't really click with me. I thought the section on binding and loosing was interesting. ...more
Josh Gaudreau
Sep 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Short enough to read on two plane rides, but deep enough that I'll be thinking about it and going back to it for a while. ...more
Nov 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christianity
One star each for the five practices of the Christian community before the watching world.
Aug 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This is in my trinity of books that would form the backbone of a contemporary constitution for Christian communities.
Luke H
May 05, 2011 rated it liked it
good concepts, though a little hard to engage with. i found politics of jesus much more compelling.
matthew b baughman
rated it really liked it
Apr 10, 2020
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Mar 06, 2012
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May 10, 2014
Joshua Job
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Sep 16, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Nov 10, 2012
Matthew Bartlett
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Jan 06, 2019
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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

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