Skip to content

John Howard Yoder on the New Society

When He called His society together, Jesus gave its members a new way of life to live. He gave them a new way to deal with offenders – by forgiving them. He gave them a new way to deal with violence – by suffering… He gave them a new way to deal with a corrupt society – by building a new order, not smashing the old. He gave them a new pattern of relationships between man and woman, between parent and child, between master and slave, in which was made concrete a radical new vision of what it means to be a human person.

John Howard Yoder, The Original Revolution: Essays in Christian Pacifism, (Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1998), 29.


  1. a. steward wrote:

    Great quote. This really sums up what Yoder is all about. I think The Original Revolution is one of his best books. I especially liked the essay, “If Abraham Is Our Father.” The way of reading the old testament holy war narratives as advocating passive trust in Yahweh’s deliverance is right on.

    Monday, March 26, 2007 at 6:02 pm | Permalink
  2. Halden wrote:

    Yeah, that was the first Yoder book I read. It was my, “Well, yeah!” experience when suddenly I didn’t know why I hadn’t always thought that way.

    Monday, March 26, 2007 at 6:21 pm | Permalink
  3. a. steward wrote:

    That’s exactly how I felt when I read the Politics of Jesus, along with a whole lot of shame, embarrassment, frustration, and anger at how easily I had bought into a straight conflation of America with the Kingdom of God.

    Monday, March 26, 2007 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

Switch to our mobile site