Archives For yoder

The transformation that Paul’s vision calls for would not be to let a few more especially gifted women share with a few men the rare roles of domination; it would be to reorient the notion of ministry so that there would be no one ungifted, no one not called, no one not empowered, and no one dominated. Only that would live up to Paul’s call to “lead a life worthy of our calling.”

John Howard Yoder, Body Politics

Feminism is not enough

The church has the character of a polis (the Greek word from which we get the adjective political), namely, a structured social body. It has its ways of making decisions, defining membership, and carrying out common tasks. That makes the Christian community a political entity in the simplest meaning of the term

…stated very formally, the pattern we shall discover is that the will of God for human socialness as a whole is prefigured by the shape to which the Body of Christ is called. Church and world are not two compartments under separate legislation or two institutions with contradictory assignments, but two levels of the pertinence of the same Lordship. The people of God is called to be today what the world is called to be ultimately.

John Howard Yoder, Body Politics

The Church is “Political”?!

If we reclaim the doctrine of vocation…then the specific ministry of:

The Christian banker or financier will be to find realistic, technically not utopian ways of implementing jubilee amnesty; there are people doing this.

The Christian realtor or developer will find ways to house people according to need; there are people doing this.

The Christian judge will open the court system to conflict resolution procedures, and resist the trend toward more and more litigation; this is being done.

Technical vocational sphere expertise in each professional area will be needed not to reinforce but to undercut competently the claimed sovereignty of each sphere by planting signs of the new world in the ruins of the old. Baptism is one of those signs, and so is open housing. The Eucharist is one, but so is feeding the hungry. One is not more “real presence” than the other.

John Howard Yoder, Body Politics

Do You Have a Job or a Vocation?

The suffering of the Messiah is the inauguration of the kingdom. “Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” “Glory” here cannot mean the ascension….

Might it not then mean that the cross itself is seen as fulfilling the kingdom promise? Here at the cross is the man who loves his enemies, the man whose righteousness is greater than that of the Pharisees, who being rich became poor, who gives his robe to those who took his cloak, who prays for those who despitefully use him.

The cross is not a detour or a hurdle on the way to the kingdom, nor is it even the way to the kingdom; it is the kingdom come.

The Politics of Jesus, John Howard Yoder

The Cross is Not a Detour