During this particular moment of time, as large numbers of younger Evangelicals are leaving the church for nominalism or into the camp of the 16% of the US which make up the spiritually “unaffliated”, I believe that the Anabaptist Tradition has massive resources to offer the North American Body of Christ at large, especially the conservative Evangelical tradition of my upbringing.
I am utterly compelled that the thought and praxis of the Radical Reformation uniquely confronts the weaknesses of North American Evangelicalism, a tradition credited (through the almost universal marriage with the GOP) with the 8-years of unjust Bush policies (two wars, the Patriot Act, trickle-down economics, etc), as well as a virtual obsession with “biblical” issues like abortion & gay marriage (and, yes, Obama has not fared much better in his quest to set records with drones and deportations).
In addition, Anabaptism is well-equipped to confront narcissism, instant gratification, consumerism and celebrity worship saturating us everyday. As Nancey Murphy wrote a few years back, referring to the “distinctive” characteristics of Anabaptism (nonviolence, revolutionary subordination, the separation of church and state and learning to live with less),
“All four of these radical-reformation distinctives can be seen as strategies for living in such a way as to curb the will-to-power.” read more »