Comment: A challenge to church bodies that feel rejection of Anabaptist-Mennonite teachings is essential for growth. Redekop shows that a strong self-conscious identity is essential to forward movement. Katie Funk Wiebe, Professor Emeritus, Tabor College, Hillsboro, Kansas
A fascinating mixture of historical narrative, sociological, analysis, and moral passion. Through it runs a theme of irony and a sober warning. Redekops story of the Evangelical Mennonite Brethren shows that church revitalization can come at the high cost of losing original core values. James C. Juhnke, Professor of History, Bethel (Kan.) College
Redekop skillfully combines sociological analysis and the historical narrative of this small group to make its story archetypal of many Christian reform movements. Paul Toews, Professor of History, Fresno (Calif.) Pacific University, in the Foreword
Redekops masterful treatment of the story of how and why this group abandoned its Anabaptist commitments becomes a valuable case study of small reform movements that lose their way while seeking to survive in the marketplace of American religion. William Vance Trollinger, Jr., Associate Professor of History, University of Dayton (Oh.)
Summary: Blending storytelling with detailed sociohistorical analysis, this unique case study examines how, over a century, a religious group found itself leaving Anabaptism. The author, himself raised among the Evangelical Mennonite Brethren (EMB) whose story he tells, argues for such an understanding of the EMB transformation into the Fellowship of Evangelical Bible Churches (FEBC).
Classification: Anabaptiststheology and history of; Mennonites; Evangelical Mennonite Brethren; Fellowship of Evangelical Bible Churches; North American Protestantism, evangelicalism, fundamentalism.
The Author: Sociologist Calvin W. Redekop, Harrisonburg, Virginia, has taught at Conrad Grebel College (Ontario) and Goshen (Ind.) College. Among his many publications are Mennonite Entrepreneurs (Johns Hopkins, 1995) and Entrepreneurs in the Faith Community. (Herald Press, 1996, co-edited with Benjamin Redekop)
Available: September 30, 1998
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