It's Calvinism, not Anabaptismby Melissa Florer-Bixler, Princeton, N.J.
When Lisa Schirch asks how Mennonites can "better redeem the powers of state and military," her question sounds more at home in the Calvinist tradition than that of Anabaptism ("Confessions of a Modern-Day Pacifist," February). John Calvin believed the church and state worked in a complementary way to enforce God's law on the world, and he wrote to refute the Schleitheim Confession;s rejection of the magistrate as "outside the perfection of Christ."
Like Schirch, Calvin also believed pacifism was in need of "some serious updating." Yet this Christian practice, in danger of becoming "a quaint if naïve relic of the past," survived Calvin's wrath. It has, in fact, survived five centuries of challenges just like these.
Associated Issue: On a different track - February 2011
Associated Article: Confessions of a modern day pacifist
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