Anabaptist Identities in a Changing World: October 2014

PART OF SERIES Anabaptist Witness
Book, 2014, 182 pp
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This first issue explores Anabaptist and Mennonite identities — how they have evolved and how they might help us live into our communities and the work God calls us to. As an example, Blough challenges us in his article to find creative ways to teach and sustain an Anabaptist theological identity, one that is made real through daily discipleship and both passed on to our congregations as well as shared with other Christians. It is this shared identity as Anabaptists, he contends, that might hold us together through interchurch schisms, and allow dialogue with each other and the broader church.

Articulating what it means to be Anabaptist in Japan, Yoshihiro Kobayashi documents the motivations for writing the Hokkaido Confession of Faith and its implications for being faithful to the good news of Jesus Christ. He presents the confession as both a contextualization of what it means to be Anabaptist in Japan, and as a call to fellow Christians around the world to take seriously Jesus’ witness of radical inclusivity. These dynamics of articulating and contextualizing faith are continued in Evan Knappenberger’s article, in which he shares the newly released Shenandoah Confession. This confession was written by several young Anabaptists who participated in the Occupy Wall Street movement and were then challenged at the Intercollegiate Peace Meeting at Eastern Mennonite University to articulate their faith together.

As missiology is cross-disciplinary in nature, this issue includes sermons, reflections on church planting, book reviews, and academic articles on theological education, theology, and history. This issue calls us to identify what our communities mean when we claim our Anabaptist identities. Furthermore, as in Ry Siggelkow’s article, it challenges us to go beyond reflection to renewed thinking that results in changed behavior, “living in expectancy of the coming of God’s kingdom.”

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