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Category Archives: John Howard Yoder

Christian distinctiveness

The epistle to Diognetus is perhaps one of the more well known works from among the Apostolic Fathers these days, at least in popular theological discussions. This is due, less to its remarks on the “common silliness and deception and foolishness and pride of the Jews” (4:6 — yikes), than for the chapter that immediately follows […]

The disciples’ missional calling

John Howard Yoder often referred Matt 20:25/Mark 10:42/Luke 22:25 which speaks of the difference between the domination of the powers and the mode of power-in-servanthood that Jesus calls his disciples to embody: When Jesus said to His disciples, “In the world, kings lord it over their subjects . . . Not so with you”; He […]

Yoder’s Warsaw Lectures

In the last year, several books by John Howard Yoder have been posthumously published, all concerned in various ways with the issue of nonviolence. The biggest of these is, of course, Yoder’s Christian Attitudes to War, Peace, and Revolution. The most anticipated, however, may well have been The War of the Lamb. Less heralded is […]

Mission, skepticism, and uncertainty

The skeptic who in the face of missionary Christianity says, “Yes, but what about all those good Hindus who lead decent lives and don’t believe that Jesus is the only one?” is not really expecting to become a good Hindu or even to be friends with good Hindus. Certainly this skeptic does not plan to […]

Recent work on Yoder

For fans of the venerable John Howard Yoder, make sure to check out the recent review of Radical Ecumenicity: Pursuing Unity and Continuity after John Howard Yoder, edited by John Nugent. The first part of the review, which focuses on the essays on Yoder’s ecumenical thought is excellent, and does a great job introducing the […]

Powers and Practices §2: Philip Stolzfus

The second chapter of Powers and Practices is a far cry, in terms of quality, from the first, and hopefully all the following essays. It is entitled “Nonviolent Jesus, Nonviolent God?” and it attempts to critique Yoder for allegedly not going far enough in purging his “concept of God” of violent images, such as those […]

Powers and Practices §1: Chris Huebner

One of my new aims this year is to blog more consistently about what I’m reading. One way I’m going to do that is by doing more chapter by chapter reviews/notes on books. I’m hoping to do one of these most weekdays. To kick it off, I’m starting with Powers and Practices: Engaging the Work […]

Yoder on Just War 5

I’ve been reading The War of the Lamb, the most recent posthumous work of John Howard Yoder’s to be released. I’ll have more to say about some of the problems of the published form of the book later. (Short version: I deeply suspect that Stassen has taken too many editorial liberties in the interest of enlisting […]

Violence and Idolatry

The older language in which the theme of “conformity to this world” was stated in Bible times had to do with “idols,” with those unworthy objects of devotion to whom men in their blindness sacrificed. Thus it is quite fitting to describe the use of violence as the outworking of an idolatry. If I take […]

Authentic Protest and the Church

A precondition for authentic protest is that there be a committed community; our word for that is “church,” but of course that is another word which most people use with other meanings. That body must not be the same as the entire society or nation. There must be a critical mass of like-minded people, sustaining […]

The Voluntary Church

John Howard Yoder often gets critiqued (the work of Oliver O’Donovan is a good example) for his alleged “voluntarism.” Yoder, being an Anabaptist is, of course, opposed to infant baptism and insists that membership in the church must always be a voluntary, free, and uncoerced reality. Thus, the baptism of children is suspect for Yoder […]

Judaism and the State of Israel

John Howard Yoder’s The Jewish-Christian Schism Revisited is helpful on many levels, but one of the most imporant points he makes therein is the way in which Christianity brought about what we know today as Judaism. Rabbinic Judaism as we know it today was not around in the time of Paul and Jesus. Rather it […]

Yoder on Just War 4

To my mind this quote is the final nail in the coffin to any who would argue that John Howard Yoder’s engagement with the just war tradition amounted to a claim that either just war or pacifism are acceptable options for Christians: . . . we must proclaim to every Christian that pacifism is not […]

A Yoderian Camping Trip

And yet again I am back. The trip ruled. Rivers were floated down and swimmed in. Conversations were had. I totally used my massive Dutch oven for the first time ever. Fantastic trip. I recommend them. I also finally did a cover-to-cover reading of John Howard Yoder’s The Jewish-Christian Schism Revisited. I really regret waiting […]

Against the Liberal Arts

Yoder again, more on education: Many contemporary discussions of the meaning of liberal arts read into this phrase numerous most edifying descriptions of what it means that the Christian is “truly free” or how the study of classical literature “liberates” one. Only a few have the honesty to admit that the historic derivation of the […]

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