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50 Common and Quirky
Questions about Mennonites

Jodi Nisly Hertzler

Summary: Collecting 50 of the common and quirky questions about Mennonites, the Mennonite-related Third Way Café (a ministry of Mennonite Mission Network and Mennonite Church USA) website,, has received over the years. This book, Ask Third Way Café, also records straight-up, no-nonsense answers. Mennonites will find it helpful and interesting to know what other people wonder about them. And anyone new to the Mennonite church or simply curious about Mennonites—their history, theology, lifestyle, and more—can benefit from this FAQ (frequently asked questions) resource.

What do Mennonites believe in? Who started it? Are Mennonites allowed to fight people that attack them? Why do they live the way they do? Would it be ok if I became a Mennonite?

Such are the questions Third Way Café receives on an almost daily basis.Through the Internet, people anywhere in the world can satisfy their curiosity, follow their personal spiritual path, or just research essays for school without the pressure of the face-to-face interview or the potential embarrassment of a "stupid" question—even about Mennonites.

Those curious about Mennonites will learn more about them. And those already Mennonite will likely find the questions fascinating, amusing, humbling, bewildering—and prompting thoughtful consideration of how they might answer these 50 questions.

Comment: "Jodi Nisly Hertzler’s 'FAQ'-based and decidedly lay-oriented approach to telling the Mennonite story is a fine example of the new and welcome spirit of engagement among contemporary Anabaptists." —Ched Myers, Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries

"Some of Hertzler’s answers are little tweets while others flow in succinct paragraphs, but regardless of length, they quickly capture Mennonite views on many things." —Donald B. Kraybill, in the Foreword

"Jodi has established her . . . inimitable style of responding that seems to fit our current times well. . . . Enjoy."  —Melodie Davis, in the Introduction

"As Mennonites, we are often known for our culture more than for our faith. This presentation of questions and answers as a ministry of The Third Way Cafe makes that evident, helps us to understand the problem of communication, and serves to help in correction." —Myron S. Augsburger, Evangelist; President Emeritus, Eastern Mennonite University; Author

"Sometimes humorous, often profound, always engaging and invitational, Hertzler’s thoughtful work will intrigue Anabaptist/Mennonite readers as much as those curious about them." —James R. Krabill, Senior Executive for Global Ministries, Mennonite Mission Network

Market: Discussion groups, students, church libraries, pastors, congregational leaders; anyone interested in Mennonites.

Shelving: Mennonite—history, theology, lifestyle, congregational life. BISAC: History, Religion. RTM: 430 History/American; 690 Religion/Ethics.

The Author: Jodi Nisly Hertzler, Harrisonburg, Virginia, a full-time mother of three, answers questions e-mailed to Mennonite Church USA’s Third Way Cafe website.  She graduated from Eastern Mennonite University in 1995 with a degree in English Literature. She and husband Shelby lived in Richmond, Virginia for a few years, before leading a Service Adventure unit in Albany, Oregon, for two years. They are active members of Community Mennonite Church. 

Publisher: Cascadia Publishing House LLC
Copublisher: Herald Press, Scottdale, PA
Publication date: October 31, 2009 (copies available now)
Approximate Pages: 84
Format: 5.5 x 8.5" trade paper
Prices: $9.95 US/Can. ISBN 13:  978-1-931038-66-9; ISBN 10: 1-931038-66-X


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