Monday, November 28, 2011

The Reformers and Their Stepchildren

"The Reformers and Their Stepchildren" by Leonard Verduin is a historical background on European Anabaptists.  They were basically maligned and ridiculed by both Roman Catholics and Protestants (the book focuses on the latter half's mistreatment), however these Christians stood with great conviction upon what they conscientiously believe to be God's principles for everyday life.  In fact the pejorative appellations forms the outline for Verduin's work.

List of Abbreviations

1.  Dontisten (Anti-sacralist society)
2.  Stabler (or "staff-carriers" - Anti-sword coercing or conversions)
3.  Catharer (from Cathar meaning "cleansed" - Anti-"liberty-ism")
4.  Sacramentschwarmer (they were Anti-sacramental salvation)
5.  Winckler (the idea of illicit or unauthorized; they worshiped in a corner)
6.  Wiedertaufer (Anabaptists or re-baptizers)
7.  Kommunisten (from "community of  goods;"  Anti-avarice with the clergy)
8.  Rottengeister (meaning "faction-makers;" Anti-oath takers)

I am not saying that the Anabaptists were perfect and lacked nothing in doctrine or in practice, nor that they didn't have within themselves heretical factions, but as a whole they were strong, and held to their beliefs with an unwavering attitude.  Eventually, we would owe much of our religious freedom and tolerance to them, and we have the medieval protest movements' scholar Dr. Verduin to thank for.

ISBN: 0-8010-9284-1
Published by:  The Christian Hymnary Publishers.
(C) 1964; reprint in 2004.
Paperback, 292 pages of good, and informational stuff.

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