Archives For Anabaptist

 

A Disentangled Deity.

A Feature Review of 

Jesus Untangled:
Crucifying Our Politics to Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb

Keith Giles

Paperback: Quoir Books, 2017
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Reviewed by James Matichuk
 

This review originally appeared on the reviewer’s blog.
Reprinted with permission. 
*** Visit his blog for many other insightful reviews!

 
Keith Giles is an Anabaptist in the house church movement.  His new book, Jesus Untangled is an attempt to disentangle Jesus from the political Right. He doesn’t advocate for wedding Jesus to the Left either. The problem with American Christianity is that Jesus is so enmeshed with nationalism that we fail to see Jesus on his own terms. In 186 pages, Giles offers his diagnostic of American Christianity and offers a solution: the recovery of Jesus as the central component of Christianity. The implication is that following Jesus chastens our nationalism, empire building, militarism, and violence.

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Dying for the Faith

A Review of 

Bearing Witness: Stories of Martyrdom and Costly Discipleship
Charles Moore / Timothy Keiderling, Eds.

Paperback: Plough Books, 2016
Buy now:  [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

 

Reviewed by Fred Redekop

 

Bearing Witness: Stories of Martyrdom and Costly Discipleship is a disturbing book. The book comes out of a project called Bearing Witness conducted at Goshen College ( a Mennonite college ). The foreword is written by two people from Goshen College, John Roth and Elizabeth Miller.  Charles Moore and Timothy Keiderling have organized the stories into time periods. The book begins with two stories of Stephen and Polycarp, and the first chapter is about Christians who live out their faith in the presence of the Roman Empire.

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Under the Radar

A Review of

The Secrets of Leaven: A Novel
Todd Wynward

Paperback: TiLT Books, 2013
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Reviewed by Jeremiah Robinson.
 
The story in The Secrets of Leaven follows Thomas Whidman, seminary student, lover-of-ancient languages, recovering fundamentalist, and boyfriend of an energetic and witty social worker, just before he undergoes a series of traumatic events which upset his faith and worldview.
 
When he follows some Guatemalan villagers into the jungle, they tell him the story of the paramilitaries exterminating their village, how they cried out to God and received no answer.
 
Thrown into a theological tail-spin, he recounts a conversation with one woman:
 
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Lloyd Pietersen - Reading the Bible After ChristendomA Catalyst to Reevaluate our Traditional Interpretations of Scripture

A Feature Review of

Reading the Bible After Christendom

Lloyd Pietersen

Paperback: Herald Press, 2012.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Andy Johnson.

A seismic shift has shaken the Western world in recent decades, pushing Christianity and the church out of the center of society and into the margins. The era often referred to as Christendom featured the religious arm of the church and the secular arm of the state cooperating to build a Christian civilization. The collapse of this long-standing arrangement raises profound implications for the life and ministry of the church.

After Christendom is a series of books that aims to explore these implications. Lloyd Pietersen carries this discussion into the realm of how we read the Bible. He proposes that “…the alliance between church and state from the second half of the fourth century onwards has resulted in ways of reading the Bible fundamentally alien to that of the earliest church.”

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“A Thousand Acts of Resistance

A review of
The Amish Way:
Patient Faith in a Perilous World
.

By Donald Kraybill, Steven Nolt,
and David L. Weaver-Zercher.

Reviewed by John Pattison.

The Amish Way:
Patient Faith in a Perilous World
.

Donald Kraybill, Steven Nolt, and David L. Weaver-Zercher
Hardback: Jossey-Bass, 2010.
Buy now: [ ChristianBook.com ]

The AMISH WAY - Kraybill / Nolt / Weaver-ZercherThe Amish are a peculiar people who – considering that they comprise less than one-tenth of one percent of the American population – occupy a peculiarly large place in the national imagination. They are by turns ridiculed and revered in popular culture, and more than ten million tourists visit Lancaster County, Pennsylvania each year to goggle at the country’s oldest Old Order Amish community. (“Shop until you drop,” encourages the county travel bureau without a hint of irony.)

The responses of mainstream Christians to the Amish can be nearly as dichotomous as the culture at large. Amish-themed novels dominate the Christian fiction bestsellers list, with devoted readers snapping up copies of “bonnet books” by the millions. Other Christians handle the Amish the way they might handle the idiosyncratic relative who lives on the edge of town but never shows up for Thanksgiving: when we think about them at all it is to gently mock them or decide if we have to claim them as family. I confess I used to fall into this camp. Weird Al’s “Amish Paradise” came out 15 years ago and I can still recite the lyrics from memory.

If a lot of American Christians don’t know quite what to make of our spiritual kin, there is a nagging sense that something must be made of them. The Amish are “Christians with a difference,” write Donald Kraybill, Steven Nolt, and David Weaver-Zercher in The Amish Way. But what if that difference makes all the difference? The way an Amish man or woman’s faith charges every aspect of life, from their plain dress, steadfast living, and tight-knit communities, to their relationship with the land and their famously rigid stance against technology – these are a witness to us. And The Amish Way is probably the best place to start unpacking what that witness might mean.

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