cover image Anabaptist Essentials: Ten Signs of a Unique Christian Faith

Anabaptist Essentials: Ten Signs of a Unique Christian Faith

Palmer Becker. Herald, $12.99 trade paper (180p) ISBN 978-1-5138-0041-7

Becker (What Is an Anabaptist Christian?) offers a concise, informative, insightful history of Christian Anabaptists timed to the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The Anabaptist tradition, including Mennonites, Amish, Hutterites, and Brethren in Christ, grew out the tumultuous Reformation in northern Europe, but found favor with neither Catholics nor Protestants—in part because Anabaptists refused to fight in war. Now Anabaptists are in 80 countries; two-thirds are in the Global South. Becker is a Canadian Mennonite pastor, educator, and missionary with a delightfully empirical mind. His book is built on three concepts (Jesus, community, reconciliation), from which proceed three key statements: “Jesus is the center of our faith; 2) community is the center of our lives; and 3) reconciliation is the center of our work.” The section on Anabaptists and conflict should be assigned reading for every Christian for its clear-eyed assessment of conflict and its effective nonviolent strategies for engaging and transforming it. “Reconciling conflict is hard work.... However, there is no greater joy than to live a reconciled life,” writes Becker. This slim volume, with illustrative graphics and discussion questions, is an easy, engaging read for those who want to learn, or be reminded of, what Christianity is all about. (Mar.)