Podcasters fill a ‘void’ on conservative Anabaptism

Jan 8, 2018 by and

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Reagan Schrock couldn’t find a podcast from a conservative Anabaptist perspective, so he decided to produce his own. Already the owner of a media company, he and fellow church member Jaran Miller founded the website anabaptistperspectives.org, which launched Jan. 4.

The site will feature podcast episodes, videos and blog posts from a conservative Anabaptist angle. Schrock sees “a void of information” on conservative views and a demand for them.

Reagan Schrock, right, interviews Dean Taylor for the first podcast and video episode at anabaptistperspectives.org. Schrock co-founded the website to help provide a connection to conservative Anabaptist faith and practice on multiple media platforms. — Patricia Miller

Reagan Schrock, right, interviews Dean Taylor for the first podcast and video episode at anabaptistperspectives.org. Schrock co-founded the website to help provide a connection to conservative Anabaptist faith and practice on multiple media platforms. — Patricia Miller

“Whenever I put any material on conservative Mennonites online, I’d get an enormous amount of views on my YouTube channel,” he said.

Schrock’s company, Bronze Bow Media, focuses on videography for Mennonite nonprofit organizations.

Schrock and Miller are running the Anabaptist Perspectives website under the oversight of their unaffiliated congregation, Wellspring Mennonite Church in Athens, Tenn. However, it is their personal project and not a project of the church.

The first Anabaptist Perspectives podcast episode features Dean Taylor of the Hutterite Altona Christian Community in Henderson, Minn. Taylor is one of the project’s advisers and the author of A Change of Allegiance, which tells of how he and his wife, Tania, left the U.S. Army in response to their study of Jesus’ teachings. In the 25-minute episode, “The Essence of Anabaptism,” Taylor outlines traditional Anabaptist views of Jesus, the Bible and the kingdom of God.

Topics to talk about

A long list of future topics is planned, with a new podcast scheduled for release each Thursday. It is accessible on the website, and Apple and Android users can subscribe via Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

The website says listeners can expect to hear from Amish, Hutterites, Mennonites, Brethren and others on “God and humanity, war and peace, college and eighth-grade graduations, smartphones and Facebook, crisis pregnancies and adoptions, terrorism and refugees, immigration, cultural change and more.”

Schrock said episodes on technology and internet usage would be coming soon.

“That is a huge conversation in the Mennonite world,” he said.

Many conservative Mennonites, who have long been cautious about communication technologies, are increasingly using the internet to connect to people who are interested in conservative Anabaptist belief and practice but have no like-minded church community nearby.

One of the project’s goals is to help provide that community, said blog editor Samantha Tren­kamp, also a member of Wellspring Mennonite Church.

“My family — growing up, we weren’t Anabaptist,” she said. “There wasn’t a lot of information, so you had to rely on someone in the next state for community. For someone who’s a non-Anabaptist who’s seeking, it will provide that sense of community.”

Recognizing the challenge of trying to represent many different church groups, Schrock said the programming would avoid minor differences in practice among conservative groups and instead focus on core Anabaptist principles such as loving enemies, nonconformity with the world and Christian community.

“Like Dean Taylor said [in the podcast episode], Anabaptist is not a denomination; it’s a worldview,” Schrock said. “We do want to bring people back to reading the Bible for what it is and practice what it says.”

For Apple devices: https://apple.co/2D8UPt2
For Android devices: http://bit.ly/2D8aZUJ


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