On Learning from the Anabaptists

From Dave Black Online:

Arthur Sido makes this astute observation about the Anabaptists:

The original Anabaptists and their modern progeny have much to praise but likewise they have much to be cautious about. I try to remember when praising the Anabaptists that they have their flaws and that we should not seek to “become Anabaptists”. Anabaptism is not the answer, but Anabaptism does help point us to the answer.

Point well-taken. I put it this way in The Jesus Paradigm:

I hope no reader will suppose that Anabaptism is being put forward as an alternative to the Word of God, as if any man-made movement is preferable to the testimony of inspired Scripture. The record of Anabaptism is by no means a spotless one. Like every movement of the Holy Spirit it is the story of a weak, stammering church that moved over a field of ecclesiastical rubble. I’m not condoning everything in the movement or offering pious panaceas. If I have left an overly positive impression, it is because I believe that an appreciation of Anabaptism can prove fruitful in many areas of Christian life and witness. The important point is this: Anabaptism was a valid, if incomplete, representation of Christ’s Body – nothing more, nothing less. I also hope that this chapter might have a mollifying effect on those modern-day traditionalists who view dissent as inherently misguided and dissenters as mere fanatics or Schwärmer. (The parallel with Luther and Zwingli will not escape the reader.)

Learn from them; but don’t worship them.

(Dave Black is author of Energion Publications titles The Jesus Paradigm and Christian Archy as well as co-editor of the Areopagus Critical Christian Issues series.  Material from his blog is used by permission.)