by John C. Nugent
Campbellites have long pursued unity by shunning particularity and by uniting around common practices such as baptism or the Lord's Supper, but theologian John Howard Yoder recognized the limitations of such approaches and advocated unity across particular traditions by way of robust and patient dialogue. Though Campbellites have striven to maintain continuity with the New Testament church, Yoder stressed the need for continuity with Old Testament Israel, the New Testament church, and wider Christian history. Yoder's work thus exhibits an ecumenical posture that is radical in its appeal to deep Christian roots, in its left-wing Reformation origins, and in its tenacious dialogical spirit.
In the Spring of 2009, a group of scholars, ministers, and lay persons associated with the Stone-Campbell tradition gathered to discuss the significance of John Howard Yoder's work. This was the first time adherents of a single tradition beyond Yoder's Mennonite heritage had gathered for this purpose. Radical Ecumenicity brings together six papers from this gathering, two additional essays by Stone-Campbell scholars, and two of Yoder's own lesser-known essays. Though these essays were not originally written with a common theme in mind, they nonetheless dovetail nicely with the prominent emphases of unity and continuity, two themes relevant to all disciples who strive to be ecumenically active and theologically grounded in the broader Christian tradition.
Radical Ecumenicity brings together chapters from the following leading theologians:
- Lee C. Camp
- Craig A. Carter
- Joe R. Jones
- Paul J. Kissling
- Gayle Gerber Koontz
- Mark Thiessen Nation
- John C. Nugent
- Branson Parler
- John Howard Yoder
John C. Nugent is a Long Island native and Professor of Old Testament at his alma mater, Great Lakes Christian College in Lansing, Michigan. His Ph.D. is from Calvin Theological Seminary where he wrote a dissertation on John Howard Yoder's appropriation of the Old Testament for ecclesiology. He holds additional graduate degrees from Duke Divinity School (Th.M.) and Emmanuel School of Religion (M.Div.). John has published articles in books, academic journals, and popular level magazines in a wide variety of areas including Bible, theology, Christian ethics, church planting, Yoder studies, and Stone-Campbellite history. John, his wife Beth, and their three girls are committed members of Delta Community Christian Church in Michigan.
Praise for Radical Ecumenicity
"John Yoder would have liked this book. He would have liked it because of the conversations made possible by the critical yet constructive essays engaging his work. As this book makes clear, conversation was the heart of Yoder's life and work. We are extremely fortunate to have this book, which exemplifies not only Yoder's thought but also his life."
- Stanley Hauerwas, Duke University
"A thoroughly engaging collection. You'll finish these essays not only wanting to read more Yoder, but more importantly, you'll find yourself caring more passionately about the concerns to which Yoder doggedly committed his life: standing in faithful continuity with the church catholic and fostering an honest and robust ecumenism. A wonderful example of first-rate scholarship and theological reflection in service of the church."
- Philip D. Kenneson, Milligan College, author of Life on the Vine: Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit in Christian Community
"During his lifetime, John Howard Yoder engaged the heirs of the Stone-Campbell Movement in the context of Believers' Church Conferences and many other occasions. It is fitting, therefore, that Yoder's important study of 'the ecumenical movement and the faithful church' is being republished alongside a set of probing essays by theologians and biblical scholars from several Restorationist churches. These essays extend the conversation about radical approaches to ecumenism. In the process, they also demonstrate the theological vitality of the Restorationist vision of Christian renewal. The authors raise important questions about the possibilities and limitations of Yoder's theological legacy. I highly recommend this book to those seeking to understand Yoder's contributions to ecclesiology, as well as the ecumenical challenges of the 21st century."
- Michael G. Cartwright, Dean for Ecumenical & Interfaith Programs, University of Indianapolis
Dimensions (inches): 8.4 x 5.5
Weight (pounds): 0.5