The American Spectator : Mennonite Takeover?

The American Spectator : Mennonite Takeover?

An interesting, if somewhat skeptical, summary of the main currents in the recent upsurge in ana-baptist life and belief in America.

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email or RSS.
Enhanced by Zemanta


The Courage of the Lollards

Sir John Oldcastle being burnt for insurrectio...Image via Wikipedia
It's difficult when reading the Twelve Conclusions of the Lollards not to be moved and impressed by their courage.

Although the document, which was presented to the English Parliament in the 1390's, is less comprehensive doctrinally than some of the later outpouring of the Reformation era, these radical medieval church reformers certainly possessed fortitude when confronting the abuses they saw in the church of their day.

When the death penalty was normative for "heresy", the cry of these third stream believers is hugely impressive. The image is of Sir John Oldcastle being executed in 1417 for "Lollard heresy and insurrection."

Consider some of the language used:

On the priesthood:

Our usual priesthood, the which began in Rome feigned of a power higher than angels, is not the priesthood the which Christ ordained to his Apostles.

In a thoroughly modern-sounding criticism of clerical celibacy:

That the law of continence annexed to priesthood, that in prejudice of women was first ordained, induces sodomy in Holy Church

On transubstantiation:

The service of Corpus Christi made by Friar Thomas is untrue and painted full of false miracles, and that is no wonder, for Friar Thomas that same time, holding with the Pope, would have made a miracle of a hen's egg

On pilgrimages

the pilgrimage, prayers, and offerings made to blind roods and deaf images of tree and stone be near kin to idolatry and far from alms deeds

In the era of carefully nuanced news-speak, the directness of the Lollard "Conclusions" hits the post -modern mind like a hurricane.

The full text of the twelve Conclusions can be read here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Former Sword and the Ploughshare: Calvinism or Lollardism?

John CalvinImage via Wikipedia
The Former Sword and the Ploughshare: Calvinism or Lollardism?

Interesting post by Brad Littlejohn on some essential differences between Calvin's theology (especially his political and social theology) and that of the English Puritans and the Scottish Presbyterians - both of whom vigorously claimed him as their own.

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email or RSS.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Eller on Sects

Vernard Eller's theoretical introduction to the concept of Orthodox Protestant sects - which overlap considerably with the Third Stream groups described in this blog - is a helpful article for thinking about the differing aspects of the subject.

Eller - who died in 2007 and was a member of the Church of the Brethren - attempts to fuse the sociological insights on sectarianism of Ernst Troeltsch with the theological paradigm of Emil Brunner.

Eller's work is contained within chapter three of his Kierkegaard and Radical Discipleship, here and includes his spectrum chart (left) of different understandngs of a sect.

Recommended reading.
Enhanced by Zemanta

On Reformation Sects

German Anabaptist Adam Pastor (16th century); ...Image via Wikipedia
"[Anabaptist sectarianism] attacked the new theological dogmatism, the compulsory State Church, and the tendency to secularization [of the Reformation "churches"]....

The Anabaptists deliberately opposed the results of this compromise, and in so doing they opposed the whole idea of the Church, and of an ecclesiastical civilization.

This violent opposition, however, proves that in reality it had been caused by the Reformation itself...."

Soren Kierkegaard

Enhanced by Zemanta


Martin Luther Rap

In the week that the Pope visits the UK, a new take on an old dispute.

Any artist who can incorporate the phrase "hypostatic union" into a rap song is worth a listen, in my opinion.

95 Theses Rap from 8BIT Network on Vimeo.


Give Me That Old Time Sectarian Religion

Sketch of Søren Kierkegaard. Based on a sketch...Image via Wikipedia

Whatever of true Christianity is to be found in the course of the centuries must be found
in the sects and their like.

Søren Kierkegaard

Enhanced by Zemanta


McConnell and Hurst on the Ohio Amish

My first direct encounter with the Amish was at Columbus bus station in the early hours of a winter morning in 1985.

I was a third year undergraduate student, based at the University of Sussex in England, but spending an academic year at the University of California at Santa Barbara. A fellow British student and I had been travelling by Greyhound Bus from west coast to east, calling at Houston, New Orleans, Montgomery (Al) and Atlanta before heading north east to the capital where we parted company, intending to meet up after Christmas in St Louis on the way back to California.

While on the early stage of the return leg, I found myself on one of those bleary-eyed stopovers that are characteristic of long haul bus journeys and it was there, in the sub zero night, that my eyes fell upon the Amish boy, with wide-brimmed black hat and collarless shirt, and the older man, with his white hair, dark clothes and - most memorably - carved dark wood smoking pipe.

American professors Charles Hurst and David McConnell have recently completed the world's first academic study of Ohio's Holmes County Amish - neighbouring Pennsylvania's communities having been extensively researched.

Hurst and McConnell's anthropological seven-year study is written up in their book An Amish Paradox: Diversity and Change in the World's Largest Amish Community and also summarised
here in Wooster Magazine (p. 12 onwards).

As the book's title suggests, attempts to describe modern Amish life in simple modern v traditional terms fail to appreciate the richness and diversity within the tradition and the complexities of adaptation and continuity.

Photo Akeg