Last week (and apparently last year), Rod suggested that I read The Secret of the Strength (alternate url that stopped working) by Peter Hoover. After reading it, I wish that I had done so last year when he first suggested it.
The Secret of the Strength tells the story of the Anabaptists. The author is a descendant of the Anabaptists, and some of his stories revolve around his own family. Most chapters begin with the story of an Anabaptist, which is then followed by Anabaptist quotations intermixed with Hoover’s commentary.
Trust me, you will not agree with everything that you read. In fact, the Anabaptists did not agree with one another on many aspects of theology. However, they did agree on several basic teachings, primarily that Jesus was with them, and that their “strength” came from him alone.
By the way, if you number the “Reformers” among your heroes, this book may force you to question their status, especially when you read the reasons that many Anabaptists were killed.
The last few chapters are the most discouraging to me. The author begins the book by telling how the Anabaptists exploded, taking their faith with them and proclaiming the gospel wherever they went. At the end of the book, the author tells how the Anabaptists imploded, separating from one another over issues completely unrelated to the gospel.
If you decide to read this book – or if you’ve read it in the past – please add your comments here.