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Running head:A CRITICAL REVIEW OF THE ANABAPTIST STORY1A Critical Review of The Anabaptist Story: An Introduction to Sixteenth-Century AnabaptismName Institution
A CRITICAL REVIEW OF THE ANABAPTIST STORY2SummaryThe Anabaptist Storyis a book by William Estep, a professor of church history who wanted to demonstrate who Anabaptism was not just an ordinary reformation movement but one that fully transformed evangelical Christianity landscape. In this work, Estep sought to make a succinct summary of the Anabaptist movement, its early leaders, its doctrines, and the comparisons between present-day evangelical denominations and Anabaptism. Estep began his book by taking a stance that the 16thcentury Anabaptist movement has always been portrayed in a bad light and there has been no other Christian group has ever been more unjustly judged (p.1).The first chapter of this book details the Anabaptist beginnings right from January 21, 1525, the day when the first baptism was done signifying a break from Rome (P.11). According to Estep, Anabaptism was born in a period that was marked by a renaissance in scripture study and followed the brave steps taken by Luther and Zwingli to reform the Roman Catholic Church.The next six chapters offer biographical sketches of twelve foremost apostles of Anabaptism from Michael Sattler all the way to Menno Simons. In these chapters, martyrdom is portrayed as the hallmark of Anabaptists’ faith (p.57).In Chapters eight through eleven, Estep delves into Anabaptist orthodoxy by expounding on specific Anabaptist doctrines such as discipleship, conversion, baptism especially infant baptism, trinity, pacifism, the ban, and church-state relations by making reference to evangelical denominations. Estep dealt with the issue of why Anabaptists were regarded as heretics (p.178). Relying on Solo Scripturaas well as justification by faith, Estep argues why Anabaptists are opposed to infant baptism (p.197). In the last chapter, Estep examines the influence Anabaptists had on early Baptists and how Anabaptism teachings had been preserved by Mennonites, Amish, and Hutterites among other denominations.
A CRITICAL REVIEW OF THE ANABAPTIST STORY3CritiqueEstep’s book The Anabaptist Storystarts with a phrase that aptly qualifies to be his stance about the sixteenth-century Anabaptist movement. Estep suggests that no other group in the history of Christianity has been so unfairly judged like Anabaptists of the sixteenth-century (p.1). With this stance, any critique worth its salt should revolve around this particular stance, to ascertain and take a position on whether Estep erred in his observations. Estep argues that there

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