A Review of :
The Activist Impulse: Essays on the Intersection of Evangelicalism and Anabaptism
David Cramer and Jared Burkholder.
Paperback: Pickwick, 2012.
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Reviewed by Alex Dye
Evangelicalism and Anabaptism seem to live as brothers at odds, though each has seen a rise in popularity in recent years. Evangelicalism, as popularized by Billy Graham and embodied today through the churches like Willow Creek and Saddleback, has seeped into most denominations in some form or fashion, though many would struggle to define exactly it. And Anabaptism and Anabaptist thoughts are evidenced through the writings and work of Shane Claiborne, the Reba Place community, and the current church buzzword “social justice.” Though adherents to each may find themselves at different ends of the theological and political spectrum, the two movements have been influencing one another in significant ways. “The last thirty years have shown that both evangelicals and Anabaptists, while sharing space on the margins of American society, have manifested a shared commitment-an ‘impulse’-to engage American society through religiously motivated activism.” (2)
In their collection of essays, The Activist Impulse, Jared S. Burkholder and David C. Cramer attempt to chronicle some of the many and varied interactions between Anabaptism and Evangelicalism, especially related to how they relate to culture, society, and the world.