Anabaptist blog: radref; and some things I was going to blog about

An excellent blog I’ve started following is ‘radref’ from Phil Wood in the UK. It’s a similar blog to this one, but probably more what I wish this one was – ie Anabaptist! One of the focuses of the blog is the challenge of being Anbaptist in a country with almost no Anabaptist churches and only a small presence. Phil writes candidly and knowledgeably.

I haven’t written anything here of substance for all of April. I was going to write something about the reflections of a Christian pacificist in the lead up to Anzac Day, especially when I felt my temperature rising hearing the Dean of the Anglican cathedral in Perth talk about the war medals they have on display there.

I was also going to write about my feelings at hearing the message that a wife must submit to her husband at a wedding of an old friend on the weekend. (I get this impression that conservative evangelicals holds this as one of their most important distinctives as Christians in the world. Indeed the preacher even described female submission/ male sacrifice as The Christian View of marriage. All on the basis of a reading of Ephesians 5:21-23 [and parallels] outside of its cultural context. Paul was transforming the patriarchy into a love-patriarchy; if he was speaking to ‘equal regard’ marriages today, he wouldn’t be calling us backward. But I wrote about this months ago.)

I was going to write about these things but I don’t have the energy, either to articulate my thoughts clearly or to debate these contentious issues.

4 thoughts on “Anabaptist blog: radref; and some things I was going to blog about

  1. Hi, thought I’d introduce myself. I am a Christian with anabaptist leanings from Sydney. Been blogging about Anzac Day myself. Good to see there’s others out there.

  2. I’m grateful for the comments, Nathan though I’m always wrestling with what being a Christian and an Anabaptist might mean in 21st Century Britain. Anabaptism in England dates back to the first 16th Century generation but the development of the Tradition was interrupted more drastically even than mainland Europe. The result is a curious sense of ‘dislocation’ – as if we’re borrowing someone elses history. It is hard to live out an Anabaptist commitment without a communal expression, but I have found joys as well – especially learning to appreciate other Christian Traditions without getting too tied up in the bureacracy.

    I like your blog and look forward to hearing more, even when it’s a struggle to say something fresh.

  3. Hi Nathan,
    Although the majority of evangelicals probably support the female submission model propounded by Christians for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, a number of evangelicals support the egalitarian views of Christians for Biblical Equality.

    However if you go to many evangelical churches in Perth, you soon realise that the egalitarian view is often viewed with suspicion or, at worst, as heretical.You may be charged with denying the plenary inspiration of scripture. These folk often fail to distinguish between inspiration and interpretation.

    The Anabaptist scholar, Willard Swartley, in his book “Slavery, Sabbath, Women and War: a case study in biblical hermeneutics” (a copy is in the Vose Seminary library) compares the hermeneutics of the hierarchial and egalitarian models of female/male relationships.

    He shows (pretty conclusively I think) that the hermeneutical moves of the hierarchicalists are similar to the moves made by the supporters of slavery in the slave debate whereas the egalitarian perspective is a consistent evangelical liberationist perspective .

    John Arthur

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