Anabaptist-Mennonite Confessions of Faith: The Development of a Tradition, by Karl Koop
2004. 185 pp. ISBN: 978-1894710329
This book sets out to recover the theological tradition of Mennonites and other communities within the Anabaptist stream. Moving beyond early Anabaptist beginnings and giving attention to the Mennonite confessions of faith of the early seventeenth century, the author discovers an identifiable and coherent Anabaptist-Mennonite theological tradition. This tradition is an important horizon for assimilating the past, and provides a point of departure for those of the Anabaptist and Mennonite tradition who wish to be able to articulate their convictions in the church and the world.
For a tradition to be usable it must not only point to a multiplicity of voices and opinions, it must also illuminate points of unity and have the capacity to orient the contemporary church. Readers will find this book helpful both in its historical approach and in its applications to current discussions within the church.
"Besides filling a gap in English language historical studies of Anabaptist- Mennonite developments, this descriptive analysis of seventeenth-century Mennonite statements of faith when Dutch Anabaptists were moving from their original societal position as a radical Gemeinde to participation in the politico-economic order (Gesellshaft) is highly relevant to the twenty-first North American Mennonite church experience. As Mennonite denominational groups continue to splinter and regroup, the need for self-identity and reconciling consensus statements continues unabated! And when we add the globalization factor of mission expansion and Mennonite World organization, these needs are maximized. Churches around the world that are related to the European and American Mennonite churches are asking what it means to be Mennonite and/or Anabaptist. Karl Koop is to be commended on a carefully researched, well-written, and thoroughly documented essay."
- C. Norman Kraus, Professor emeritus, Goshen College, Harrisonburg, VA. in the Conrad Grebel Review
Karl Koop is Professor of History and Theology at the Canadian Mennonite University.