In the Fall of 2013 I wrote an essay on John Howard Yoder’s sexual misconduct. A version of this essay, “Reflections from a chagrined ‘Yoderian’ in face of his alleged sexual violence,” was published in J. Denny Weaver, ed., John Howard Yoder: Radical Theologian (Cascade Books, 2014). 334-350.

The Mennonite Church USA website has a list of links to writings on the Yoder situation, current through January 2015.

I reflect on Yoder’s sexual misconduct and his theology in a series of posts beginning July 31, 2013—”Reflections from a chagrined Yoder: Part 1—Introduction, Part 2—Sexual violence, Part 3—Yoder’s sexual violence, Part 4—Yoder’s theology, and Part 5—Where to now?“—stimulated by a guest post from Barbra Graber, “What’s to be done about John Howard Yoder.”

Fuller Seminary ethicist and Yoder friend Glen Stassen shared a short essay where he reflects on “the Yoder case.”

A thorough reflection has been posted by Mark Thiessen Nation on his “Anabaptist Nation” blog, 9/23/13.

Here’s an earlier blog entry I wrote December 2010—“Word and Deed: The Strange Case of John Howard Yoder” and a February 8, 2011 addendum. Here’s a link to the articles mentioned in my essay that are from 1992 in The Elkhart Truth by reporter Tom Price on allegations of Yoder’ sexual misconduct. Here is a short excerpt from Stanley Hauerwas’s memoir that discusses Yoder’s transgressions.

On May 29, 2011, I posted an essay responding to an anti-pacifist critique of Yoder: “Defending Yoder: Part One—Responding to Peter Leithart’s Critique.”  Here is the next part: “Defending Yoder: Part Two—Earl Zimmerman’s Account,” posted June 5.

In another blog post, July 31, 2011, I addressed the theme: “Mennonite Theology and War: Kaufman and Yoder”.

I devoted two blog posts (April 2, 2012 and April 3, 2012) to reflecting on a recent book, The Heterodox Yoder, by Paul Martens.

On July 10, 2013, I posted a response to an excellent article by Ted Troxell on “John Howard Yoder and Anarchism.”

Below is a list of some of my other writings dealing with Yoder:

1. Pacifism and the Story of Jesus: A Summary of Yoder’s Presentation of Jesus in The Politics of Jesus

2. A Yoderian Reading of Romans

3. John Howard Yoder’s Pacifist Epistemology

4. A Faithful Teacher in the Church: A Personal Tribute to John Howard Yoder

5. Ted Grimsrud/Craig Carter Dialogue on Carter’s Book, The Politics of the Cross

6. John Howard Yoder’s Christology [a short summary essay from 1982]

7. John Howard Yoder and Contemporary Anabaptist Theology [June 2011]

4 thoughts on “Yoder

  1. I became aware of John Howard Yoder because of the appendix on church discipline he wrote for John White’s book, Healing the Wounded.

    I attempted to use discipline process with teenager who had gone to Planned Parenthood for birth control pills. I found out about this because I was her doctor.

    I was excommunicated by Evangelical Lutheran Church of America predecessor church for my efforts. I attempted to seek the help and support of Yoder when he came to Des Moines to lecture some of the same clergy who were involved with my excommunication.

    He gave me “cold shoulder” similar to your description in speculation about Asperger’s Syndrome.

    It seems like discipline process was flawed in Yoder’s case also.

    When I attempted to contact his church and raise my concerns with them about Yoder’s lack of help in my efforts, they seemed to show very little interest. They seemed more concerned about his predator victims, than his potential hypocrisy with respect to church discipline. It seemed like he “preached, but did not practice” with respect to promoting church discipline.

  2. Your comments on Asperger’s and Yoder were helpful, in the sense that, they explained somewhat his rejection of my efforts.

    I also spoke with John White, who was doctor and Christian. He suggested discipline would be futile because Lutherans were not “Bible believing”.

    Here’s some recent posts which are related.

    James Bradford Pate seemed to reject my post because I was suggesting Yoder was not supportive of my attempts at discipline. He felt this was saying bad things about powerful people. I thought it ironic that it seemed like Pate was afraid of being sued by perhaps the top “peace” theologian of the 20th century.



  3. D Stephen Long—“we have a similar situation with Yoder, and I find the excuses for his actions and the cavalier disjunction between his life and theology unconvincing as well. Theology is not like chemistry. If done well, it should encumber us with a way of living, especially if we think theology must be made visible so that it can be a witness. Balthasar asks why so few theologians are saints after the modern era, and suggests it is because of the way theology becomes another academic discipline. The task of theology and the work of sanctity should not be disjoined.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s