Forming Christian Habits in Post-Christendom: the Legacy of Alan and Eleanor Kreider

More than 40 contributors from Europe, Australia, North America and Asia have participated in a project to honour Alan and Eleanor Kreider, co-founders of the Anabaptist Network and for 30 years Mennonite mission workers in England. In each of 14 chapters, three contributors respond to the Kreiders’ writings, reflecting on the impact of their teaching and their lives. A biography of Alan and Eleanor, co-authored by their son, Andrew, photographs from different stages of their lives (some of them astonishingly youthful) and a comprehensive bibliography complete the book – a fitting tribute to a much-loved couple.

But it is also a handbook on contemporary issues in the areas of community, mission and worship – three themes that have dominated the Kreiders’ ministry and teaching. This is not a collection of academic essays but a practical manual and a rich resource for Christians on the cusp of post-Christendom. What habits of the heart and of our community life are needed if we are to thrive in this new, demanding and invigorating context? How can we be formed and renewed to participate fully and joyfully in God’s mission today?

The book was copublished by Herald Press and the Institute of Mennonite Studies at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary. On November 10, IMS celebrated the book’s release with students, faculty and friends of the Kreiders. At this gathering, John Rempel, associate director of IMS, reported that many of the writers note how “Alan and Ellie combine modesty and passion, groundedness and experimentation, mind and soul, in complementary ways.” In a sampling of the influence of their thinking across denominations and continents, Rempel said, “To the world of evangelicalism they brought social holiness; to movements for social and political change they brought the presence of Christ in their lives. They fired people’s imaginations with the possibility of a pacifist ethic. Several of the authors lay out theological visions and describe transformative ministries that extend Ellie and Alan’s thinking in new directions.

Alan and Ellie Kreider at the launch of Forming Christian Habits in Post-Christendom

Co-edited by James Krabill and Stuart Murray, this was published on 27 June and costs £14.00. Copies can be ordered from admin@anabaptistnetwork.com.