He Came Preaching Peace (John Howard Yoder)

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At the center of all John Howard Yoder's thought is the scriptural witness, and at the center of the scriptural witness is Christ, the one who "came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near" (Eph. 2:17). This collection of short, accessible studies of key biblical texts provides a wonderful point of entry into Yoder's more difficult theological writings; it can also serve as a guide for a small group Bible study on the theme of Christian peaceableness.

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About the Author:

John Howard Yoder (1927-1997) taught ethics and theology as a professor at Notre Dame University and Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary. He received his doctorate from the University of Basel, Switzerland, and was a member of the Mennonite Church in Elkhart, Indiana.

Review:

This is a collection of Yoder's meditations on 12 New Testament texts. The theme throughout is the suffering, reconciling, and forgiving nature of God which disciples of Jesus are commanded to imitate. The consistent theme throughout these short essays is that Jesus in loving everyone, and especially those we are tempted to call our enemies, since it is the dvine will that all should have abundant life. Our loyalties are mispaced when they stop short of the whole peole whom God has called. Peace, writes Yoder, is the sumpreme purpose of God. Peacemaking is not first a moral task but is the way we who have been called to divine friendship are to praise and honor God. The Cross is central to peacemaking. It is the ultimate power of God to disarm evil, and against it no human weapon can stand. Yoder's final meditations are about the restoration of the Holy City of peace. There he suggests the institutiional and attitudinal prerequisites for planning for peace rather than war. The most essential work of Christian discipleship is that of reconciliation. --Religious Studies Review

This is a collection of messages, generally full of power, relentless in their probing of Scripture and human resources. Yoder does not spend much energy on political solutions; he is more eager to do deep into Christian sources. --Christian Century

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