Schleitheim Series Introduction

It is my aspiration to begin a series addressing each of the Schleitheim Confession articles.[1] This very important document played an integral role in the life of the 16th century Anabaptists. It always astounds me that

Title page of the Schleitheimer Confession (15...

Schleitheim Confession (1527)

everyone likes to take the Anabaptist moniker upon him or herself but very few delve into those things that defined this group. Yes, pacifism is trendy especially when high profile pastors, speakers or even denominational conventions adopt it along with feeding and clothing the underprivileged or advocating equality towards marginalized groups.

However, what about what mattered to these men and women that originally bore this name? Does it even matter to these new arrivals what the progenitors even cared for or thought about while they were experiencing this movement at its commencement?

No because with all things considered what is viewed at present as Anabaptism is a modified version of evangelicalism, and the goal is to see what novel idea can be employed to make Anabaptism look all nice and shiny for the consumers who typically happens to be other professed Christians.

My goal in this series is not only do honor to 16th century Radical Reformers known as the Anabaptists but shed light from a core text and establish how it is still relevant for doctrine and praxis.


[1] The series Anabaptism New-Defined was originally planned but given the nature of it more research and time is required thus it will occur at a later date.

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8 thoughts on “Schleitheim Series Introduction

  1. Looking forward to it. I am in the early stages on a book along these lines, but specifically as a commentary on the trial of Michael Sattler, especially walking through each of the responses articulated by Sattler. I wish to do the same with explaining how relevant it is for doctrine, praxis, as well as bearing out the distinctions between Anabaptists (Swiss Brethren in particular) and other Christians.

    That does bring up a question for you: are you (or maybe you already have in a previous post writing) going to make a distinction between the Anabaptists who agreed with the Schleitheim Confession and other Anabaptists groups, or are you going to keep it a bit more of a general application?

    • Eddie

      I am looking forward to the book and keep me update on it’s progress. To answer your question I am still looking into that matter myself, the thing I do know is that the Swiss Brethren had serious disagreements with the Hutterites. But as far a I know the Hutterites had no problem with the confession.

  2. I am also looking forward to the series. I walked away from a mainstream Anglo-Catholic background in the 1970’s and started to look at the Anabaptists, specifically General Conference and Mennonite Church (pre-MCUSA) Mennonites in the early 1990’s. I joined the Mennonite Church in 2001, and since have done a lot of study when it comes to Anabaptist history. I agree that, for the most part, it is hard to distinquish between present day Anabaptist and evangelical churches. On top of that there is an extreme lack of historical understanding among ALL flavors of Christianity.

    • MJMcEvoy

      Good to hear and I am glad someone is reading this blog and has interest. Stay tuned and I will try to get the first installment out soon.

  3. I am a Brethren in Christ ordained pastor, sort of a cousin on the anabaptist family tree. If you don’t know Devin Manzullo-Thomas, you may want to contact him. He is a young man (smart, faith-full, interesting) full of information regarding the historical aspects of our faith traditions. You can find him on FB and he love to talk history!

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