For more than fifty years now the Anabaptist Vision of Harold Bender has served as a symbolic theological anchor within the Mennonite Church. In the tumultuous era following World War II, as Mennonites became increasingly acculturated into the mainstream culture of North America, Bender's summary of Anabaptism's essential features became a lodestar for leaders throughout the church, a source of identity and renewal amidst the buffeting forces of change. But as we move toward the twenty-first century, it is reasonable to ask whether-or how-the Anabaptist Vision is still relevant for the church today. Do the Anabaptist principles of discipleship, community and nonresistant love still represent our deepest convictions about the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Are they still an animating core of Mennonite identity, capable of sustaining renewal within the church? Or has the force of these ideas been spent and the time come to seek out new themes, new ideals?

     The crucial question, I suggest, is not really about the content or the substance of the Anabaptist Vision. To be sure, some scholars have taken issue with the historical accuracy of Bender's understanding of sixteenth-century Anabaptism, and others have noted that he did not give sufficient emphasis to such themes as missions, grace or spirituality. But if we are indeed talking about a vision-rooted in scripture and modeled on the life of Jesus Christ and the apostles-then the force of these ideas has not been spent: discipleship, community and love are, after all, at the heart of the Gospel message. They are the visible evidence of the faith we proclaim, not just for Mennonites but for all Christians.

     Thus the key issue for Mennonites in the next century is not whether the basic themes of the Anabaptist Vision are relevant, but rather how these themes will find concrete expression within the contemporary Mennonite church. As we look to the future it might be helpful to gain some clarity about past experience. The past fifty years have seen many attempts to give expression-implicitly and explicitly-to the Anabaptist Vision's ideals. A list of such efforts might include the Mennonite Community movement of the 1950s, Reba Place Fellowship in Evanston, Illinois and the house church movement of the 1960s, the proliferation of regional historical societies in the 1970s, the Christian Peacemaker Teams in the 1980s, or the Living in Faithful Evangelism (LIFE) program in the 1990s.

     Yet despite this apparent variety, for the past 25 or 30 years one particular interpretation of the Anabaptist Vision has dominated within the church in a powerful, subtle and yet highly problematic way. That interpretation of the Anabaptist Vision found its most succinct and articulate expression 25 years ago when a group of committed scholars and church leaders gathered to ask a question very similar to our own: What is the meaning of the Anabaptist Vision?

     The year was 1969. The setting was a conference, in Aspen, Colorado, of representatives from several Mennonite seminaries whose goal it was to "explore our common understanding of the Anabaptist-Mennonite heritage for the life and work of the church in the modern world."[1]  There John Howard Yoder, one of the brightest young stars in the Mennonite theological firmament, presented the draft of a paper which in earlier incarnations before audiences at the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries and at Eastern Mennonite Seminary had aroused a great deal of interest and excitement. Coming 25 years after Bender's own electrifying address, Yoder's speech-with the provocative title "Anabaptist Vision and Mennonite Reality"-established a powerful model for how the Anabaptist Vision was to be interpreted within the Mennonite Church for the next generation and beyond. Even though most Mennonites undoubtedly have never heard of the speech, in many ways it became the defining statement for a generational perspective on contemporary Mennonite history and identity.

"Anabaptist Vision and Mennonite Reality"

     The content of Yoder's "Anabaptist Vision and Mennonite Reality" defies easy summary. The address shared the strengths typical of John Howard Yoder's published works: it was incisive, keenly argued and carefully nuanced. It was provocative, full of bold claims and rhetorical flair. Perhaps more important, it clearly was written out of a deep love for the Mennonite church and a passionate commitment to the church's renewal. But underneath the rigorous logic there is also a certain "slippery" quality to the paper, most evident in Yoder's repeated-and disingenuous-claim that his intent was to be "purely descriptive"; that he was simply carrying out an assignment to "describe what is going on while [not] taking sides."[2]  Yet anyone reading the address today will notice immediately that it is not mere description but a highly charged critique of contemporary Mennonite reality. The speech cannot be read any other way.

     At the outset Yoder suggested that for his purposes Anabaptism was "not a century but a hermeneutic."[3]  His interest was not to defend historical Anabaptism. Rather, Yoder took the Anabaptist Vision as his starting point, understanding it to be a set of convictions rooted in scripture and expressed concretely in a distinctive ecclesiology ("the believers' church") and a particular understanding of ethics ("the way of the cross").

     Within the church, Yoder argued, the Anabaptist Vision implied a genuinely free, voluntary commitment to membership and a renunciation of power which, at the congregational level, meant a commitment to corporate biblical study, group discernment and mutual accountability. Externally, in the "world," the Anabaptist Vision assumed that the church was inherently missionary in character and that it refused to participate in acts of violence or to cooperate with structures of oppression. For Yoder, this was the essence of the Anabaptist Vision: a voluntary church and an ethic of love, with discipleship assumed to be a corollary.[4] 

But the real emphasis of Yoder's speech was not on the Anabaptist Vision per se; rather, he devoted the heart of the address to what he called "Mennonite Reality" and a thorough detailing of a chasm which separated contemporary Mennonite reality from the vision expressed by the sixteenth-century Anabaptists.

     The result was a withering indictment of the contemporary church. In Yoder's reading, virtually the entire history of the Mennonite church-presumably beginning with the second generation of Anabaptists, although Yoder is not very clear on the point-has been a story of acculturation and decline. To be sure, Mennonites may have retained the external form of the voluntary church, and many along the way did refuse military service ("even at the cost of suffering and repeated migration").[5]  But this was mere outward appearance, only the hardened shell of cultural forms and habits devoid of their radical energizing core. In actual fact, claimed Yoder, the Anabaptists very quickly lost their missionary zeal, they turned inward on themselves and they began devoting their energy to physical survival and the perpetuation of tradition. In short, the Anabaptists almost immediately became Mennonites.

     In one of his most memorable phrases Yoder compared the ensuing synthesis of Mennonite faith and culture with that of medieval Christianity. In their tightly bound communal enclaves Mennonites had created Corpusculum Christianums: minaturized versions of the medieval Corpus Christianum so opposed by sixteenth-century Anabaptists. The result, he concluded, was a situation "not like the New Testament church and . . . not like Anabaptism."[6] 

     Although this critique appears to fit the entire sweep of Mennonite history following the first generation of Anabaptists, Yoder devoted most of his attention to the various efforts at renewal within the North American Mennonite church during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Not surprisingly, he found all of those efforts deeply flawed. Whether one looks at publishing activities of John F. Funk, the revival campaigns of John S. Coffman, the doctrinal orthodoxy of Daniel Kauffman, the anti-modernism of John Horsch, or even the historical vision of Harold Bender, the same pattern is clear. Each of those reformers, Yoder claimed, began on the fringes of the Mennonite community; each joined the Mennonite church freely, under the false assumption that those who endorsed his particular set of reforms did so with the same genuineness of voluntary commitment; and, most damning of all, each borrowed heavily from sources outside the Mennonite tradition for the content of their various renewal efforts.[7] 

     Yoder did note some important nuances within the general pattern. Whereas the earlier reformers, for example, took their messages to the congregations, later reformers tended to develop more autonomous institutions; some reformers were "spiritualist" in orientation, others more "theocratic." But all borrowed from the Protestant mainstream. All borrowed from sources which were Anabaptist neither in denominational character nor in structure. Thus, Yoder claimed, "there should be no surprise that Mennonite reality, after this borrowing had been assimilated [and] synthesized . . . was no more Anabaptist than before."[8] 

     Included in this critique was the work of Harold Bender. According to Yoder, Bender's "Anabaptist Vision" may well have been Anabaptist in substance, but in its structural form-with a strong emphasis on history and institutions-it was really Presbyterian. Therefore, it was incompatible with Anabaptism, since ultimately "form determines substance."[9]  Moreover, under Bender's leadership the Anabaptist Vision never became a tool for thoroughgoing church reform. Local congregations continued to focus on issues of acculturation (e.g., musical instruments and the prayer veiling); the denomination at large was preoccupied with issues of structural organization and alignments; and church colleges continued to define their task primarily in terms of enculturating birthright Mennonite children into the church. In contrast to all this, Yoder concluded, Jesus and the early Anabaptists were "about judgment and renewal."[10] 

     In the end, Yoder left the postwar generation with an enormous chasm between the Anabaptist Vision and Mennonite Reality. Contemporary Mennonites had not simply fallen short of the vision but had created "fundamental structures [which are] incompatible with it."[11]  Despite all its claims to be "merely descriptive," Yoder's analysis suggests that this gap between vision and reality was the appropriate measure of the moral compromise and the spiritual failure of contemporary Mennonites. The gap was an indictment of Mennonites' acculturation and the many compromises they had forged with the world. It demonstrated their tacit rejection of the heroic demands of the Sermon on the Mount and it called into question their claims to be true followers of Jesus.

     To be sure, there were many strengths in Yoder's address. He offered a powerful argument: subtle, nuanced and extremely insightful. Indeed, the very fact that this argument is so familiar to many of us-that even today we have assimilated the basic framework contrasting "Anabaptist Vision with Mennonite Reality"-is a measure of the force of Yoder's analysis, even though the full weight of the critique has been routinely ignored. The assumptions embedded in the framework continue to stand as a kind of unofficial manifesto, a source of praise and admiration from outsiders who come to know us through the published works of our most prominent theologians but who are almost invariably disappointed when they encounter actual flesh-and-blood Mennonite congregations.

     But Yoder's "Anabaptist Vision and Mennonite Reality" also embodies a series of internal tensions, if not outright contradictions, which have haunted the edges of Mennonite theology and psychology. The speech identifies a kind of "cognitive dissonance" with which we have learned to live but which nonetheless continues to lurk in the shadows of our minds and in the confusion of our students. Without detracting from the integrity of the speech I want to suggest that the basic assumptions behind "Anabaptist Vision and Mennonite Reality" are fundamentally flawed and that these flaws should be recognized as such before there can be a new, full appropriation of the Anabaptist Vision.

     My objections are not directed toward Yoder's historical analysis. Historians may want to quibble on details, but that is not the primary issue here. Nor am I interested in trying to protect contemporary Mennonites from internal criticism. There is much in contemporary "Mennonite reality" that should be thoughtfully challenged and reformed. I am not interested in a reactionary defense of the status quo for its own sake.

     Rather, the heart of the issue is the relation between vision and reality and the assumption that the gap between vision and reality can and must be eliminated if Christians are to be truly faithful. The tensions in this implicit perfectionism find expression in a number of related and quite instructive ways.

     First, the Anabaptist Vision/Mennonite Reality model is confusing in its use of history. Yoder began by claiming that Anabaptism is "a hermeneutic, not a century," but he assumed throughout his essay that this hermeneutic was not merely a theological tool but an actual historical possibility for the true Christian. Apparently, in his view there was indeed a time when the Anabaptists "got it right." At one point Yoder explicitly stated that "the best picture of . . . renewal according to the model of Jesus is the radical reformation or the Anabaptist Vision."[12]  But he never was clear just when or where the principles of the Anabaptist Vision were indeed fully incarnated in human history. Yoder strongly hinted that the first generation of Anabaptists actually did realize this vision in their life together but never said so explicitly. It is crucial to his argument that the Anabaptist Vision is indeed a historical possibility. But virtually all of the historical references in Yoder's address are about a failure to meet the standard. In the end, the argument is really quite "ahistorical," if not outright anti-historical.

     A second confusion in Yoder's model is the place of culture in his critique. It is a truism, of course, to note that faith cannot exist apart from a cultural matrix-such things as language, memory and social institutions. Yet, as with history, the only references to culture in this general sense are to "fallen" culture. In Yoder's rhetoric, culture appeared only as the problem of "acculturation." Thus the Anabaptist Vision is clearly incompatible with the culture of mainstream Protestantism and middle class suburbia into which modern Mennonites have fallen. By definition, when Mennonites borrowed from outside sources they fell away from the standard. Yet Yoder was never clear what "good" culture-what legitimate appropriations of language, memory and social institutions-might look like. The "Anabaptist Vision and Mennonite Reality" model is really a model of permanent revolution, powerful in its critique of established cultural forms, hostile to institutional structure, deeply suspicious of all tradition, but with virtually nothing to sustain the fabric of our daily lives. It contains precious little room for the ordinary lives of most Christians who spend their days striving to be virtuous people, to engage in meaningful work, to nurture their children and to embody faithful discipleship in their daily activities.

     This problem is closely related to a third and even more serious one. The "Anabaptist Vision and Mennonite Reality" model seems to force the Anabaptist Vision and contemporary Mennonites into a pernicious dualism: either our institutions, congregations, families, ethics are in perfect alignment with the standard or we must accept the fact that we are acculturated, middle class, complacent accommodators to the status quo. There is no middle ground. Indeed, in Yoder's reading, to call the Anabaptist Vision a "vision" is a serious misnomer; the Anabaptist legacy is so potent precisely because it is not a "vision" in the standard meaning of the term. It is not merely an ideal which we hold out before us. The heroic disciple of the Anabaptist Vision refuses to think of the ethical imperatives of the Sermon on the Mount as some future hope. Rather, they are historical possibilities, meant to be incarnated in our every thought and deed in this life, in this aeon. Whereas other "lesser" Protestants find ways around the "hard sayings" of Jesus, we neo-Anabaptists actually, literally, live them out. The model seems to assume that if we only define the terms carefully enough and establish a logical sequence to an argument, human beings will necessarily conform to it, if they are truly faithful to the Gospel.

     Anticipating the naysayers who claim that they have not seen the vision in practice, Yoder responded: They were observing Mennonite communities "which were not trying to make it work."[13]  Thus, in his view the problem is simply one of bad faith or weak intent.

     These assumptions, however, confuse ideas and abstract principles with the joyful messiness of lived experience. The result, ironically enough, is not a generation inspired to radical discipleship but, paradoxically, the exact opposite. Since in Yoder's formulation the Anabaptist Vision has integrity only insofar as it becomes reality, we find ourselves either living under the grim censure of guilt and quiet failure or-much more commonly-we ignore the standard altogether and the Anabaptist Vision simply becomes irrelevant.

     In my view, the question is not whether there will be a gap between vision and reality. There will be. The experience of faithful Christians-Mennonite and otherwise-is that every day we live in the gap between vision and reality. The truly pressing question then is how to live faithfully, honestly and with integrity within the gap.

Paul and the Philippians: Living "Between the Times"

     Precisely here is where the biblical story and Anabaptist-Mennonite history find themselves in a common conversation; for the struggle to live in a tension between what is and what ought to be is as old as the church itself. This tension-clear already in the Old Testament-becomes a foundational theme in the New Testament, especially in the epistles, where Paul's letters to the young churches that he and others had established sound amazingly contemporary. Sometimes it is good to remind ourselves that the epistles were not intended originally as texts for modern theologians to decipher; rather, they were written to real congregations and, even more significantly, to congregations wracked with uncertainty, dissension and even a sense of impending chaos.

     Like many of the other young churches, the community at Philippi found itself in the midst of tremendous strain and change. On the surface Paul's letter to the Philippian congregation was warm, personal and encouraging. He expressed gratitude for the financial support sent with Epaphroditus. He reported that he was sick but has now recovered. Throughout the letter one can sense the genuine affection Paul held for the community.

     But underneath this good will and warmth there were also unmistakable hints of disagreements and tensions within the group. There were leadership problems: some were preaching the message of Christ out of envy and rivalry, and Paul warned the congregation against "selfish ambition and vain conceits." The church was deeply divided over the legacy of Judiasm, with its rituals and laws, and was unclear about the place of ethnicity and tradition in the context of its mission outreach. And there were external pressures from Roman authorities. Indeed Paul, the charismatic and inspirational leader of the movement, was sitting in prison even as he wrote his words of encouragement and advice.

     In the midst of all this unsettled confusion the short message Paul sent to the young church rings with the wisdom of a man able to put the immediate problems of the moment within the much broader context of God's work in history. In reading the letter to the Philippians against the backdrop of their uncertainty about the future, one should note what Paul did not advocate. There is nothing in his letter to suggest that the young congregation's members should flee from their setting to become monks in the desert. Paul did not propose a new version of Judeo-Christian fundamentalism with a list of religious regulations and orthodox beliefs. He did not demand a new, absolutist standard of perfection. Nor did he offer the church at Philippi a license simply to do as they pleased.

Instead, Paul proposed something much simpler-and at the same time much more complicated:

     I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. . . . Only let us live up to that which we have already attained. (Phil. 3:10-14, 16)

     It is difficult to read that passage without getting some sense of the tension-a healthy, creative, energizing tension-that Paul was commending to the congregation at Philippi. It is a theme not only in this brief passage but throughout the whole book. On the one hand, we are called out of the old world, called to leave behind the things of the flesh. "That which was once to my profit," wrote Paul, "I now consider as loss for the sake of Christ" (Phil. 3:7). Leaving all that behind, we are to live according to the standard of God's righteousness as expressed by the suffering Christ. A very high standard indeed!

     But almost immediately Paul complicated the picture. We are indeed new creatures in Christ. As Christians we have been transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. But we are not yet perfect. "Not that I have already obtained all this," writes Paul in verse 12, "or have already been made perfect." Rather, "I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me." And several verses later Paul repeated the same paradox: "Our citizenship is in heaven," he wrote, and yet we still "eagerly await" the moment when Christ "will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body" (Phil. 3:20-21).

     Christians have always affirmed that God has acted in the past, that history is a record of God's "mighty hand and outstretched arm" in the lives of God's people. Likewise, Christians from the very beginning have lived in the anticipation of the fulfillment of time, looking ahead to the Great Wedding Feast and the day when the crooked shall be made straight and the rough places plain. Yet the true challenge for the Christian is to live "between the times" in God's Holy Present: to regard every moment, every individual action, every decision we make as a gathered body of believers, as part of an unfolding story of salvation history; and to recognize that we are that story in the present, in this moment.

     True Christian identity, Paul seems to suggest, is forged out of a holy tension between past and future; between what used to be and what is still to come; between the memory of an all-too-human history and the anticipation of a future heavenly perfection. In short, we are called to live "between the times."

     To live "between the times," I suggest, is at the heart of Christian faithfulness. It accepts the fact that we are part of a modern, pluralistic, changing culture; that we are in many ways embedded in that culture; and that faith cannot ultimately be expressed apart from culture. And yet, by the power of Christ we are called to rise above that culture, to transform it, to name the principalities and powers, to live not according to the kingdom of this world but rather according to that which is "true . . . noble . . . right . . . pure . . . lovely . . . excellent and praiseworthy" (Phil. 4:8). Set your minds, Paul wrote, on Christ Jesus.

     To live between the times is to embrace our past-not just the first generation of Anabaptists but all 470 years of our history as a people; to celebrate our distinctive tradition and heritage; to honor both the nameless thousands of men and women who have lived ordinary lives, raising families and sustaining communities, as well as those who have died for their faith; to acknowledge the foibles and follies and failures of our story along with the great acts of faith. And yet, by the power of Christ to transcend our past, to make all things new in Christ Jesus, to break down the walls that divide and to celebrate a church ever new and ever renewing.

     To live between the times is to recognize, with humility, that our powers of comprehension are limited; that our understanding of the scripture and the Holy Spirit can be skewed; that we still "see through a glass darkly"; that we stand somewhere between the cross and the resurrection, borne along by God's grace while "in fear and trembling we work out our salvation" (Phil. 2:22). And yet, by the power of Christ we press on with Paul "toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:14).

     I realize that my call to celebrate this "holy tension" between Vision and Reality will strike some as a slender reed. For some, it is probably not radical enough. To acknowledge openly that the goal toward which we strive will always remain a goal may sound like a call to give up the struggle and to retreat into middle class complacency and self-satisfaction. For others, the language of a "holy tension" may not be heroic or idealistic enough to inspire young people to heed the call of radical discipleship. Still others will wonder whether the challenge to live "between the times" is specific enough in its application: How is this notion to be embodied in real life? How do we make the connection between the "holy tension" and the routine, ordinariness of daily activities? All of these are serious questions, particularly in light of our own sense of fragmentation and uncertainty as we look ahead to the future of the church.

     In the end, however, there is no simple formula to capture the lived experience of a faithful response to Christ's call. Neither the Anabaptist Vision nor our rich heritage of Mennonite history provides us with a specific plan for responding to the challenge. Tensions between what is and what ought to be are inherent in the order of the universe; they are woven into the very fabric of our humanity. As such, they will need to be engaged in local settings, in honesty, in fear and trembling, as we are sustained and forgiven by the grace of God.

Looking to the Future

Even if we have not found a precise blueprint for how the Gospel is to be incarnated into daily life, the central themes of the Anabaptist Vision and the admonition from the Apostle Paul to live "between the times" do offer a helpful framework as congregations struggle to hear the voice of God in their midst.

     As we look ahead to the twenty-first century, I am convinced that the central themes of the Anabaptist Vision-discipleship, the gathered community and an ethic of love-will still be relevant to Mennonites and the broader Christian community, but only if they are embued with a sense of the living reality of God's providence and God's forgiving and sustaining grace. Even though the specific expressions of the Anabaptist Vision will undoubtedly vary from congregation to congregation, I conclude with a brief summary of my own hopes for renewal within the church in the century ahead.

     I hope that Mennonite congregations in the twenty-first century will discover new richness in the meaning of discipleship. Discipleship is first and foremost about a relationship with Jesus, both as transcendent savior and as lord of my life. Discipleship is about following Jesus, about "abiding in Christ." But radical discipleship in the twenty-first century might also mean staying married to one person for life. It might mean a sacrificial and personal commitment to children and the elderly-the most vulnerable in our society-putting their interests above our rights, even when doing so is inconvenient. Radical discipleship in the twenty-first century should continue to name the principalities and powers of the world, to denounce the political and economic injustices of our society. But it should also embrace many small and more humble acts of cultural defiance and transformation. It might include open conversation in the church about such personal and private matters as the place of television in our homes. It might mean forgoing the quickest routes to vocational success by setting aside a portion of life for focused service. And for the very best and brightest of our young people it might also include a willingness to devote their lives to leadership within the congregation and the church. Whatever expressions discipleship takes, we heed the call not as a great heroic expression of self-renunication but as a natural response to the living presence of God in the very fabric of our daily life.

     I hope that Mennonite congregations in the twenty-first century will discover new richness in the meaning of community. In its essence, Christian community is about worship and praise-our shared, voluntary and joyous response to God's call to faithfulness. But community in the twenty-first century might also include a renewed commitment to biblical literacy, a new openness to reading the Word of God together with a sense of expectancy. It might mean a revived role for the church in actively discerning the culture around us. It might mean a new understanding of the congregation's role as the primary locus of mission, both to the young people being nurtured in its midst as well as to the unchurched, near and afar. True community in the coming century will not be defined primarily by doctrinal statements (though they may be necessary) or by the latest models of small-group dynamics (though they may be instructive). It will not come about because we grit our teeth, roll up our sleeves and plan a strategy to "make it happen." Rather, community occurs when individuals voluntarily cast their lot with a particular tradition and a specific group of people, and through the grace of God resolve to live actively and vitally in the present. To live "between the times" means listening to the voices of the past and anticipating the fulfillment of history.

     Finally, I hope that Mennonite congregations in the twenty-first century will discover new richness in the meaning of love. Love is a difficult word within our culture. On the one hand, its use is so pervasive and flippant that it is sometimes difficult for Christians-especially pacifist Christians-to clarify what we mean by the word. On the other hand, our culture is so devoid of genuine love, so mean-spirited, so quick to violence, that we dare not relinquish our scandalous claim that God's love, through us, extends even to the enemy. Suffering love in the twenty-first century might be better understood as compassion. "Love of enemy" can easily become abstract and disembodied. Compassion is never abstract. Compassion assumes that we know other people deeply enough to share in their suffering and to absorb the pain of those who have been sinned against. The dominant image of Christ's love for the world is rightfully the cross; but in my mind the image of the compassionate Christ is that of Jesus at the end of his ministry, looking on Jerusalem from above, and weeping. Compassion is what animates discipleship; it is the living energy of true community.

     The challenges we face in the century ahead are serious and profound. But in the end, none of them are "problems" for us to solve. Rather, in the joyful and surprising-sometimes confusing-routine of our daily lives, in communities sustained and forgiven by the grace of God, let us go forth boldly and "in fear and trembling" claim "that for which Christ Jesus took hold of us."

     And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ-to the glory and praise of God. (Phil. 1:9-11)

[*] John D. Roth is Associate Professor of History at Goshen College, Director of the Mennonite Historical Library and Editor of The Mennonite Quarterly Review. Return to Text

[1] . John Howard Yoder, "Anabaptist Vision and Mennonite Reality," in A. J. Klassen, ed., Consultation on Anabaptist-Mennonite Theology (Fresno, Cal.: Council of Mennonite Seminaries, 1970), iii. Return to Text

[2] . Ibid., 16-17, 3. Return to Text

[3] . Ibid., 5. Return to Text

[4] . Ibid., 4. Return to Text

[5] . Ibid., 6. Return to Text

[6] . Ibid., 6-7. Return to Text

[7] . Ibid., 11-12. Return to Text

[8] . Ibid., 15. Return to Text

[9] . Ibid., 17, 26. Return to Text

[10] . Ibid., 22. Return to Text

[11] . Ibid., 28. Return to Text

[12] . Ibid., 23. Return to Text

[13] . Ibid., 30. The Mennonite Quarterly Review Living Between the Times