Anabaptists and the emerging church. Horse and carriage? Chicken and egg? Chalk and cheese? It has been suggested by some (Don Carson, Scot McKnight) that the emerging church in USA gravitates towards and resembles the early Anabaptist movement. I have mentioned this before. I generally agree with this and my own spiritual history contains strong Brethren (NZ) and Baptist leanings so it works out in practice for me.
Anabapist connections around the globe take different forms.
Canada? From my observations on the Canadian scene last month, I see a lot of impulses that can and should inform (and probably are informing) the emerging church from Canadian Mennonite history. They have a wonderful history of effective wholistic ministry that includes hospitality, financial sharing, intentional community, ecumenical partnership, fair trade practices (Ten Thousand Villages) right living and diet, and a whole lot more.
As for Australia, Jarrod McKenna, who was interviewed yesterday on Australian radio, sees a strong historical precedent in Anabaptism. Check out this article on his blog called Emerging Peace Church Movement and the “Open Anabaptist Impulse”
NZ? Prodigal Kiwi reviews “Anabaptist Theology in the Face of Postmodernity.”
What about Britain? A little disagreement on Anabaptist traits from Jonny Baker (Jason Clark agrees) who sees its influence as far stronger in North American more than UK. But Stuart Murray Williams, chair of the Anabaptist Network in UK and involved with the Incarnate church planting network, finds a strong connection. His latest book “Changing Mission: Learning from the Newer Churches” is worth reading. Graham at Organic Church also tackles the subject. And London’s Luke Bretherton sees a strong Anabaptist theology at work in the emerging church, drawing from John Howard Yoder and Stanley Hauerwas. [“Beyond the Emerging Church” in Remembering Our Future: Explorations in Deep Church.]
Sorry for that Link Tornado. Who’s carrying this conversation right now? Ummmmmm . .. aaaahhhhhhh . . . . that would be Jarrod in Australia.