Nonviolent Word: Anabaptism, the Bible, and the Grain of the Universe

Nonviolent Word: Anabaptism, the Bible, and the Grain of the Universe

J. Denny Weaver, Gerald J. Mast
Nonviolent Word:
Anabaptism, the Bible, and the Grain of the Universe

This book displays how the nonviolent Word of God made visible in Jesus Christ is expressed in the contemporary idiom of the peaceable grain of the universe. Moving between historic Anabaptist understandings of Jesus as revealing the “Word of God” and more recent expressions of Jesus as disclosing the “grain of the universe,” the book invites a reading of Scripture centered in Jesus’ life and teachings as told by the narratives of the New Testament. This approach to the Bible discovers there a persuasive witness to the power of nonviolent action in both historic movements and contemporary settings.

Beginning with the radical wing European Reformation, the book explores how new understandings of biblical authority expressed in the language of that era have relevance now over five centuries later when stated in a contemporary language for evangelical, ecumenical, and anti-racist Christian witness. To that end, chapters in Part One explore how Reformation-era Anabaptists expanded or went beyond the received understandings of Scripture and Word in confronting their crises. In Part Two the chapters apply this expanded understanding of the Word to contemporary understandings of the Bible and theology, dialogue across black-white lines, and in nonviolent witness and activism.

Publisher: Pickwick Publications / Wipf and Stock Publishers
180 Pages
Publication Date: 2/21/2021
ISBN: 9781725257016

This book is a welcome addition to the growing body of literature emphasizing the richness of the Anabaptist tradition for contemporary followers of Jesus. Weaver and Mast urge Christians to prioritize ‘the story of Jesus,’ convinced it holds the key to interpreting the Bible responsibly, living nonviolently, and engaging in constructive conversations about some of the most pressing issues facing the church today. Timely, hopeful, and much needed!

Eric A. Seibert, Professor of Old Testament, Messiah College, author of The Violence of Scripture

Nonviolent Word takes readers on a journey from sixteenth-century Anabaptism to our contemporary world, making powerful connections between the Bible, the story of Jesus, and the cosmic reign of Christ. Weaver and Mast invite readers to return to the particularity of Jesus’ life and teachings as we participate in the grain of the universe today. Read this book

Drew G. I. Hart, Assistant Professor of Theology, Messiah College, author of Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism

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