The German/Austrian/Moravian stream of Anabaptism had both a diverse geography and a diverse theology. It should also be noted that, other than the Hutterites, there remains no lasting tangible, institutional legacy of South German Anabaptism. Yet, interest in this stream of Anabaptism has had a bit of a revival in postmodern times. Why might this be so?

The following are edited quotes from past student responses to the above question. Which column do you identify with or agree with? Why?

 

“Today in the postmodern culture there has been a move away from legalism and just depending on the Scriptures to listening to God and seeing the Holy Spirit at work.” “Postmodernism focuses on truth and validity of experience rather than on God’s written word.”
“The young church is trying to escape the legalistic head knowledge of our parents in favor of a more personal, real, spiritual experience where we can feel God’s intimate presence tangibly and immediately.” “Today we are wanting a fast-food, feel-good type of encounter with God. Divine immanence theology offers a direct experience with God without looking to Scripture.”
“This postmodern generation is looking for an experiential faith that is life-giving over objective truths that become tools of control over people.” “Spiritualists and New Agers use this [mystical theology] as justification for their lives and lifestyles and as an excuse to engage in sinful activity.”
“God desires to do something new among the people of the world.   I think it could all be a result of what God is doing in the world.” “People don’t want rules; they would rather be subjective. It provides everyone the opportunity to generate their own religion.”
“We should be more open and accepting when the Spirit is working and less critical of things like miracles, dreams and different ways the Spirit moves.” “Postmodernity searches for diversity and acceptance like a teenager who never grows up. A divergence from Sola Scriptura is too self-seeking.”
“People today are more interested in and aware of God being much bigger than the boxes we put him in. There is something refreshing about mysticism and an emphasis on the Holy Spirit.” “Emphasis on the Spirit leads to disunity, because how can you test the “spirit” except by Scripture. Scripture we can trust. Too much emphasis on the spirit is the New Age creeping into Christianity.
“There seems to be two movements happening today. Lots of people seem to be going very orthodox and even legalistic because they want something firm to believe in. Others are the opposite and are bored and tired of merely reading and thinking and want to feel and experience God’s spirit within.”
“Maybe we are in the midst of a spiritual awakening to some degree. We need both Scripture and Spirit. The Spirit helps us understand the Bible and experience God and Scripture helps us know we are listening to the Spirit and not other voices.”