Nonviolent Word: Anabaptism, the Bible, and the Grain of the Universe

Book, 2020, 170 pp
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This book displays how the nonviolent Word of God made visible in Jesus Christ is expressed in the contemporary idiom of the peaceable grain of the universe. Moving between historic Anabaptist understandings of Jesus as revealing the “Word of God” and more recent expressions of Jesus as disclosing the “grain of the universe,” the book invites a reading of Scripture centered in Jesus’ life and teachings as told by the narratives of the New Testament. This approach to the Bible discovers there a persuasive witness to the power of nonviolent action in both historic movements and contemporary settings.

Beginning with the radical wing European Reformation, the book explores how new understandings of biblical authority expressed in the language of that era have relevance now over five centuries later when stated in a contemporary language for evangelical, ecumenical, and anti-racist Christian witness. To that end, chapters in Part One explore how Reformation-era Anabaptists expanded or went beyond the received understandings of Scripture and Word in confronting their crises. In Part Two the chapters apply this expanded understanding of the Word to contemporary understandings of the Bible and theology, dialogue across black-white lines, and in nonviolent witness and activism.

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