Archives For Paul Martens

 

More Apotropaic Arboreal Adventures:
A Response to Parler
By Paul Martens


Paul Martens RespondsThis response is directed at the longer ebook version of Branson Parler’s review.

[ Click here to read/ download (PDF) ]

CLICK HERE for the shorter version of Parler’s review of:

The Heterodox Yoder

Paul Martens.

Paperback: Cacade Books, 2012.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

When one writes a book suggesting that an important Christian thinker might best be understood as heterodox, one expects a swift and strong response. In these respects, Branson Parler has not disappointed with his thirty-eight page ebook—The Forest and the Trees: Engaging Paul Martens’ The Heterodox Yoder—that appeared a mere two and a half months after the publication of my The Heterodox Yoder.[1] I sincerely appreciate the conviction evident in Parler’s engagement. Although the length of his review is oddly flattering, it is absolutely clear that his ebook is an energetic attempt to reject my rendering of Yoder:[2] following a brief summary of my argument, it provides a lengthy explication of three central elements of Yoder’s authorship—politics, Christian particularity, and sacraments—that allegedly undermine my argument, ultimately leading to a pithy (and rather brazen) conclusion that not only overturns my application of the proverbial “forest for the trees” imagery but also appropriates and extends my invocation of heterodoxy in order to claim that my reading of Yoder is analogous to heresy.

Parler correctly observes that I view Yoder’s thought as a sort of cautionary tale and that I believe it is important to avoid reducing Christianity to ethics (not, however, because of my experience in Anabaptism but simply because reducing Christianity to ethics is problematic theologically – my experience in Anabaptism has simply illustrated this problem). Yet, Parler also claims that The Heterodox Yoder “only confuses rather than clarifies things” because I do not account for the “whole forest” of Yoder’s corpus (37). At the gracious invitation of The Englewood Review of Books, I offer the following comments of response in order to clarify what I take to be (a) missing from Parler’s analysis; and (b) misleading in Parler’s description of three central elements—very significant trees, to continue the metaphor—of Yoder’s thought.

Continue Reading…

 

The Heterodox Yoder - Paul MartensA Review of

The Heterodox Yoder

Paul Martens.

Paperback: Cacade Books, 2012.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Branson Parler.


*** This review has been condensed from the new ebook

The Forest and the Trees:
Engaging Paul Martens’ The Heterodox Yoder

By Branson Parler
FREE download of this free ebook from the ERB
(PDF, should be suitable for most e-readers).

For those interested in the thought and legacy of John Howard Yoder, Paul Martens continues to be an engaging and provocative voice. In The Heterodox Yoder, Martens clarifies and crystallizes his overall reading of Yoder, which he began exploring in his earlier work.[1] Martens continues to raise important questions surrounding Yoder’s thought and, in doing so, forces us back to Yoder’s text. I will briefly survey his argument before offering a lengthy critique that engages specific points in detail.
Continue Reading…