Celebrating Lesslie Newbigin's 100th Birthday Today with 10 Things You Probably Did Not Know About Him
Books I'm Reading (December 2009 - January 2010)

7 Reasons to Read John Howard Yoder and 8 New John Howard Yoder Books

Here are seven reasons why I like reading John Howard Yoder (1927-1997).

1. He effectively argues for the importance of vibrant local churches.

2. His explains the importance of the church orienting itself by Scripture. 

3. He interacts with a broad range of Christian perspectives. 

4. He is a very good writer.

5. He is very interested in the practical. 

6. His work is respected by philosophers, theologians and New Testament scholars. 

7. His work is extremely valuable for articulating the free church, baptist, nondenominational, or Mennonite perspective on issues.

The Politics of Jesus is Yoder's best known work but I would recommend people start with the quick 80 page Body Politics which I reviewed at Best book on ecclesiology I read this year: Body Politics by John Howard Yoder.  Then I would recommend reading The Politics of Jesus, Priestly Kingdom, Royal Priesthood, and For the Nations. The last three books are compilations of essays by Yoder. 

I have also written a long academic paper on Yoder at: The Ecclesiology of John Howard Yoder paper

Here are eight recent books that have come out or are coming out that deal with his work.  Below that I have listed a partial bibliography of older books as well. 

New John Howard Yoder Books (2008-2010)

  • Edited by Jeremy M. Bergen and Anthony G. Siegrist: Power and Practices: Engaging the Work of John Howard Yoder

    Edited by Jeremy M. Bergen and Anthony G. Siegrist: Power and Practices: Engaging the Work of John Howard Yoder
    Herald Press (August 20, 2009) Description excerpt: In this collection of essays, a new generation engages the theology of John Howard Yoder.

  •  Radical Ecumenicity edited by John C. NugentEdited by John C. Nugent: Radical Ecumenicity: Pursuing Unity and Continuity after John Howard Yoder Abilene Christian University Press (March 2010) Description excerpt: A collection of essays that explores the ecumenical work of celebrated Mennonite theologian John Howard Yoder, including two rare but important works by Yoder himself. "John Howard Yoder would have liked this book.  He would have liked it because of the conversations made possible by the critical yet constructive essays engaging his work.  We are extremely fortunate to have this book, which exemplifies not only Yoder's thought but also his life." --Stanley Hauerwas, Duke University

  • Edited by Peter Dula and Chris K. Huebner: The New Yoder

    Edited by Peter Dula and Chris K. Huebner: The New Yoder
    Cascade Books (January 1, 2010) Description excerpt: A new generation of scholars has begun reading Yoder alongside figures most often associated with post-structuralism, neo-Nietzscheanism, and post-colonialism, resulting in original and productive new readings of his work. At the same time, scholars from outside of theology and ethics departments, indeed outside of Christianity itself, like Romand Coles and Daniel Boyarin, have discovered in Yoder a significant conversation partner for their own work. This volume collects some of the best of those essays in hope of encouraging more such work from readers of Yoder and in hopes of attracting others to his important work.

  • John Howard Yoder: Christian Attitudes to War, Peace, and Revolution

    John Howard Yoder: Christian Attitudes to War, Peace, and Revolution
    Brazos Press (April 1, 2009) Description excerpt: John Howard Yoder was one of the most important thinkers on just war and pacifism in the late twentieth century. This newly compiled collection of Yoder's lectures and writings on these issues describes, analyzes, and evaluates various patterns of thought and practice in Western Christian history.

  • John Howard Yoder: The War of the Lamb: The Ethics of Nonviolence and Peacemaking

    John Howard Yoder: The War of the Lamb: The Ethics of Nonviolence and Peacemaking
    Brazos Press; 1 edition (December 1, 2009) Description excerpt: John Howard Yoder was one of the major theologians of the late twentieth century. Before his death, he planned the essays and structure of this book, which he intended to be his last work. Now two leading interpreters of Yoder bring that work to fruition. The book is divided into three sections: pacifism, just war theory, and just peacemaking theory. The volume crystallizes Yoder's argument that his proposed ethics is not sectarian and a matter of withdrawal. He also clearly argues that Christian just war and Christian pacifist traditions are basically compatible--and more specifically, that the Christian just war tradition itself presumes against all violence.

  • John Howard Yoder: To Hear the Word

    John Howard Yoder: To Hear the Word
    Cascade Books; 2nd Ed (January 1, 2010) "Of very few people can it be legitimately said that their work fundamentally reconfigured the landscape of two theological disciplines. But if there is anyone in recent memory who would be worthy of such an accolade, it is John Howard Yoder. The two disciplines are, of course, theological ethics and biblical studies—though Yoder would cringe at their separation, and his work was both explicitly and implicitly a prolonged exercise in maintaining their indissoluble union. For him, to hear the word rightly was to do the word publicly. . . . [Yoder] guides us toward a truly ecclesial yet missional reading of Scripture, with a profoundly Anabaptist yet ecumenical and catholic spirit, in historically astute and literarily sensitive ways that are nonetheless "straightforward" and pastoral. Or, as he would himself say, he guides us toward a reading of Scripture that proceeds from and focuses on Jesus: Vicit Agnus Noster, Eum Sequamur; 'Our Lamb has conquered; let us follow him.'"—from the foreword by Michael J. Gorman

  • John Howard Yoder: Nonviolence - a Brief History: The Warsaw Lectures

    John Howard Yoder: Nonviolence - a Brief History: The Warsaw Lectures
    Baylor University Press (March 15, 2010) Description excerpt: The eleven lectures collected in Nonviolence A Brief History were presented in 1983 in Warsaw, Poland, and this is their first publication together. Despite their apparent diversity, the lectures trace a single trajectory: the increasing relevance of nonviolent thought and action. They argue that nonviolence aligns with the inner logic of the world and, therefore, with human social existence.

  • Nathan R. Kerr: Christ History And Apocalyptic: The Politics of Christian Mission

    Nathan R. Kerr: Christ History And Apocalyptic: The Politics of Christian Mission
    Cascade Books (October 13, 2008) Description excerpt: On the basis of a rereading of John Howard Yoder's place within this genealogy, the author outlines an alternative "apocalyptic historicism," which conceives the work of Christian politics as a mode of subversive, missionary encounter between church and world. See also Analysis of Nathan Kerr's Christ, History and Apocalyptic at The Church and Postmodern Culture blog

Older John Howard Yoder Books (2007 and earlier)

I would also love someday to watch

John Howard Yoder's course New Testament Social Ethics at Regent College which is available on DVD at the Regent College Bookstore

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