John Howard Yoder is one of the most important Mennonite Anabaptist theologians in recent history. Yet, much of his work is often viewed as inaccessible and quite academic for those who did not attend Seminary or Bible School.
Herald Press recently released a new title called “Radical Christian Discipleship” which is a collection of until now, mostly unpublished works. They released it with the intention of making the content accessible to anyone and everyone who is interested in the work of John Howard Yoder. I had the privilege to work a little bit on this project and was blown away by the diligence of editors John Nugent, Andy Alexis Baker, Branson L. Parler in making the content readable and accessible to all. If I were to give someone a title to introduce them to Yoder, this would be it.
Yet the part of the project that gave me the most joy was crafting the FREE study guide for Herald Press. I am hopeful that it will help people engage this important material. To check out the study guide, CLICK HERE.
Below is an excerpt fitting with the recent anabaptistly blog theme on ‘Love Your Neighbour.’
The lawyer who asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” had the same idea in mind (Luke 10:29). He wanted a handy rule to tell him just how far love had to go. He wanted to know who it would be okay not to love, or at least to love less. We often forget that the parable of the “good Samaritan” was not given as a general teaching that we should do good—everybody knows that—but as a direct answer to the question, “Who is my neighbor?” When we remember how Samaritans were despised in Jesus’ time, we see that the answer Jesus gave by naming the Samaritan was the same one he gave earlier saying, “Love your enemies” (Luke 6:27, 35). In other words, the limits of group, nation, and religion are not the frontiers of our love. The refusal to let our love be stopped by a border—be it of race, creed, or human sympathy—will be the measure of our Christian nonconformity.
John Howard Yoder, “Radical Christian Discipleship,” pages 91-92. Edited by John Nugent, Andy Alexis Baker, Branson L. Parler.
Be sure to check out the book and study guide.