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Three years have elapsed since this paper was originally compiled. It seems appropriate to update it somewhat.
The Introduction and Chapter 1 have been updated. They were originally directed very explicitly to members of the "Christian Reconstruction" movement. They are now broader and should be more easily understood by those outside the movement.
In general, many other changes should be made in the work (but who has the time?). First, I would begin each chapter with a fuller mention of the Reformers' good points. In virtually every case, the Reformers said or did many good things contrary to the picture I paint of them. The chapter on Statist Pastoral Methods could well be preceded by some examples of Calvin's very Christ-like pastoral methods. It is certainly not my point that everything the Reformers did was wrong, or that they were wrong at all times. I am only pointing out inconsistencies, and hoping that those who follow the Reformers will not also follow them in their inconsistencies.
Second, the research in this work is woefully inadequate (either to be considered "scholarly" or if the work is to reach a general audience). As originally written, it was directed to the "Reconstructionists," and used only sources which would be familiar to that audience. It was also written at a time when I would by no means have called myself an Anabaptist. It was merely a "journal" describing my transition in thinking. I now have only a few qualms about putting myself in the Anabaptist camp, and therefore feel that a more generous use of Anabaptist sources would be appropriate. The Mennonite Quarterly Review and The Mennonite Encyclopedia, for example, are brim-full of important Anabaptist historiography and contemporary thought, yet they were completely passed by back in 1982.
Third, I would re-arrange the text and place the lengthy quotations in footnotes. My purpose in including the long quotations was to allow the reader to undergo the same experience I had in reading them, hoping that they would come to the same conclusions I had come to. For a broader audience, however, it would be more appropriate simply to state my conclusions and allow the reader to pursue any points of dispute in the endnotes. (Makes the paper look smaller, too!).
Finally, of all the chapters that need revision, those two concerning Heresy and Orthodoxy are most in need of radical revision. I have since concluded that the Bible does indeed prohibit "archism" (Mark 10:42-45; I Cor. 15:24), apathetic complacency (Revelation 3:16; our Lord was executed as a "revolutionary"), militarism (Micah 4:3; Matthew 26:51-52; Matt. 5:39), competitive individualism (Acts 4:32; Romans 12:13), and "justification by belief." Chapters have been added which challenge the Reformed conception of "justification," and thus challenge much of Protestant "orthodoxy." This movement from Protestant to Anabaptist thought reflects only a growing desire to be conformed to Scripture.
If you, the reader, find other areas that are in need of change, or have questions
about what is written, or would like to disagree with some of my conclusions, I would be
only too happy to hear from you. When I consider all the work that has gone into
this little tract, as well as the fact that Pat Robertson may be the next President (!), I
think about putting the time in to getting this readied for broader circulation.
Your comments are very much appreciated.
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