Anabaptist spirit

July 25, 2016 (Kampala):

I’ve started reading John Roth’s Stories: How the Mennonites Came to Be and am really excited about it. I want to see if I can continue to claim an Anabaptist identity by interpreting their 16th century beliefs and ideals in the context I find myself in today. I want to see IF the direction I’m heading intellectually can be seen as springing from the Anabaptist spirit…or not.

For example, I would transmute their absolute devotion to the Bible as God’s Word into an absolute devotion to Reality as God’s Word, and biblical interpretation to the best understanding of reality we can get from transdisciplinary research. Just as the Reformers rebelled against the way God’s authority and voice were locked up in the Roman Catholic clergy and ecclesiastical institutions, so am I rebelling against the way God’s authority and voice are imprisoned in the Bible and its official interpretations.

And just as transferring spiritual authority from the monolithic Church to a plethora of subjective interpretations of Scripture resulted in over 15,000 Christian sects or denominations, so will transferring authority from a monolithic Book back into the World result in the emergence of millions of unprecedented cognitive-cultural expressions – new species, new life.

“The Anabaptist tradition is relevant to contemporary Christianity not because it replicates the doctrines of other Protestant denominations, but because it challenges evangelicals and ‘generic’ Christians alike to examine how basic affirmations find expression in the world of time and space – how the ‘word becomes flesh’.”

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