Home News New book soon to be available from Centre for MB Studies

New book soon to be available from Centre for MB Studies

by Roger Villeneuve

CMBS is in the final stages of publishing German Baptists in South Russia, a translation by Walter Regehr of the 1914 German original by Johann Pritzkau.

Why this translation? MB historians have regularly pointed out the many things that the MB renewal movement in Russia borrowed from the Baptists—immersion baptism, congregational polity, conference structure, and mission mindset.

Pritzkau’s chapter on the interaction between German Baptists and MBs shows that the “borrowing” was not all one way. Converts from Lutheran and Catholic German villages credit the evangelistic work of early MBs for their introduction to the believers church tradition.

However, Pritzkau points out some of the more embarrassing aspects of early MB praxis (although he is charitable): namely, how MBs felt they could not absorb the converts into MB churches—even though the converts dearly wanted to become MB—for fear that the MB church would lose the privileges they enjoyed from the Russian government (i.e., exemption from military combat duty). The converts were encouraged to join the German Baptist Church.

Recent MB missional initiatives in Canada (i.e., C2C Network) show that MBs can move beyond such exclusionary behavior.

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