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Peter Hoover ( - )
Read freely text sermons and articles by the speaker Peter Hoover in text and pdf format. Is an author familiar to many conservative Christians of Anabaptist and similar heritage in the United States, Canada and western Europe. He is a member of the Detention River Christian Community in Tasmania, Australia, a Plain Christian community of Hutterite tradition.
Hoover's books have focused on the stories of Christians in recent centuries who have most closely reflected the relationships, values, zeal and impact that Christians had claimed in the New Testament and ante-Nicene period. His books include Secret of the Strength (What Would the Anabaptists Tell This Generation?), which is published in both English a German edition in Europe (as Feuertaufe. Das radikale Leben der Täufer. Eine Provokation) , and an online Spanish edition. Also, he has written Behold the Lamb (The Story of the Moravian Church), and The Russians' Secret (What Christians Today Would Survive Persecution?), and The Mystery of the Mark: Anabaptist Missions under the Fire of God.
(The Secret of the Strength) 1. A Man Hanging from His Thumb
A Man Hanging from his Thumb
The sun shines on Klundert, green lowland plains lying flat as far as eye can see. Tourists visit Klundert. They take pictures: fields of flowers and vegetables. Thunderheads rise, making rows of poplars alongside the canal ... read more
(The Secret of the Strength) 10. On to a New Life
On to a New Life
"In Christ Jesus neither the cutting away nor the foreskin is of any value, but a new creature," wrote Menno Simons on the title page of his book Of the Heavenly Birth and the New Creature in 1556. He quoted Paul. And with Paul and M ... read more
(The Secret of the Strength) 11. On to Baptism
On to Baptism
South of Lake Constance, where the land rises to the shimmering Säntis, Altmann, and Kreuzberg peaks, the city of Sankt Gallen lies in the valley of the Sitter River. For more than a thousand years after 612 A.D. when the missionary, Gal ... read more
(The Secret of the Strength) 12. On to Commitment
On to Commitment
A dry wind howls out of the Sierra Madre on Pfingsten, the day of Pentecost, when Old Colony Mennonites get baptized. On this day the churches will be full. Horses and wagons, like columns of ants on dirt trails ruler-straight across t ... read more
(The Secret of the Strength) 13. On to Communion
On to Communion
South of the baths at Ragatz and the Swiss village of Maienfeld, south of the snow-crowned peaks, Falkniß and Scesaplana, where the setting sun lights up the snowfields of the Glarner and the Rhaetian Alps, lies the deep valley of the ... read more
(The Secret of the Strength) 14. On to Community
On to Community
In the old city of Augsburg in Bavaria, Jakob Wideman (VEE duh mun) found the way of Christ in 1527. Augsburg was a wealthy city. The Fuggers, Europe's richest and most powerful bankers, lived there. But when Jakob found Christ, he left ... read more
(The Secret of the Strength) 15. On to Visibility
On to Visibility
Where the Werra flows between the Thüringer Forest and the highlands of the Rhön, the castle of the knights of Bibra-Schwebenheim overshadowed the little house of Johannes Hut, his wife, and his four children. Johannes (they called h ... read more
(The Secret of the Strength) 16. On with the Message
On with the Message
Oid, oid, lo que nos manda el Salvador.
Marchad, marchad, y proclamad mi amor.
Pues he aquí, yo con vosotros estaré
Los dias todos hasta el fin os guardaré.
Id, id por el mundo. Id, Id y predicad el evangelio,
Id, ... read more
(The Secret of the Strength) 17. On to Witness
On to Witness
Among the dairy farms at Goes on the Dutch island of Zuid Beveland, Joost Joosten grew up singing. He excelled in Latin at school, but his heart was in the songs he sang, and his parents found a place for him in the choir of the village c ... read more
(The Secret of the Strength) 18. On to Peace
On to Peace
More than the pungence of curing meat and wood smoke greeted those who entered the back room of Matthias Fischer's house in Augsburg, on August 24, 1527. Matthias was a butcher. But on this day he had no meat to trim nor sausages to stuff. ... read more
(The Secret of the Strength) 19. On to an Ethical Way of Life
On to an Ethical Way of Life
As a child, Ursula Hellrigl had to leave her home in the deep valley of the River Inn. Traveling fast, at night, through the forests and along mountain trails from Austria, she arrived with her parents at Auspitz in Moravia ... read more
(The Secret of the Strength) 2. What Was the Secret of the Strength?
What Was the Secret of the Strength?
For as long as I can remember, people have told me about the Anabaptists. In fact, I distinctly remember the first time they told me about Geleyn Cornelis, who hung from his thumb. I was not yet going to school. It ... read more
(The Secret of the Strength) 20. On to Modesty
On to Modesty
"¿Serán monjas? (Are they nuns?)" the old woman at the fruit stand asks in a low voice, her attention fastened on two girls coming up the cobblestone street.
"No," replies her granddaughter with a smile. "They are Patricia Ramirez an ... read more
(The Secret of the Strength) 21. On to Christian Families
On to Christian Families
On the Koppenstraat in the Dutch city of Briel, Anneken Jansz led a sheltered life in the large house of her parents. They had money and she was their only child.
Anneken, in the flower of her youth, met a young man called A ... read more
(The Secret of the Strength) 22. On to Christian Service
On to Christian Service
The Mennonite church called my father into the Dienst (service) when I was five years old. After that he went to sit with four other Diener (servants) and one elder behind a bare wooden pulpit along one side of the meetinghouse, ... read more
(The Secret of the Strength) 23. In Spite of Terrible Mistakes
In Spite of Terrible Mistakes
Nearly everyone at the Sankt Pelagius school of the Chorherrenstift in Bischofszell in the Thurgau liked Ludwig. He was a quiet well-mannered student. Like many Swiss boys of his age who came from wealthy homes, he studied ... read more
(The Secret of the Strength) 24. A Bull in the China Shop
A Bull in the China Shop
Clustered around its Benedictine monastery, Mönchen-Gladbach on the plains of the lower Rhein in Germany, was a city of song. Its monks sang. Choral groups of nuns from the convent of Neuwerk sang. The music of the great organ ... read more
(The Secret of the Strength) 25. Zu de Gmeysleid
Zu de Gmeysleid1
Zwansig Joa zrick hen mei Schweschda un ich viel gschwetzt von die Sacha. `S hot vleicht net viel gebatt weil ma woara all zwey jung, neibekäat, un mit wenig Äafoaring. Juscht mia hen vielmols, meiats im Winta wans kald un schneeig w ... read more
(The Secret of the Strength) 26. To the Outsiders
To the "Outsiders"
On hazy summer afternoons, while the grownups worked elsewhere, we children played house on the back yard. Even though we didn't know English yet, we would dress up, pretend to be stylish and ignorant, and call ourselves die Stoltze ... read more
(The Secret of the Strength) 27. The Last Chapter
The Last Chapter
In the beginning of this book we compared the Anabaptists with Samson. In following chapters we saw the great strength whereby they overcame their trials. But we also saw the mistakes they made and how, in less than a hundred years, th ... read more
(The Secret of the Strength) 3. The Woman Who Had a Baby in Jail
The Woman Who Had a Baby in Jail
In 1637 they caught the minister, Hans Meyli, of the Horgerberg, in the snow-crowned Alps south of Lake Zürich in Switzerland. They tried him and threw him into the Oetenbach castle dungeon, but after forty-three weeks ... read more
(The Secret of the Strength) 4. From Where Did the Anabaptists Come?
From Where Did the Anabaptists Come?
They came from "no where." Right out of the Dark Ages, out of incredibly corrupt state churches, the Anabaptists (Ludwig Keller and E. H. Broadbent notwithstanding) stepped as a totally new and different movement.
... read more
(The Secret of the Strength) 5. Literarily . . . An Explosion!
Literarily . . . An Explosion!
Conrad Grebel, a young Anabaptist, wrote on September 3, 1524:
I am full of words and the spirit of my belly constrains me. Behold my belly is as new wine without a vent, which bursts the wineskins. I shall speak and I ... read more
(The Secret of the Strength) 6. On to Christ
On to Christ
In 1527, two years after the birth of the Anabaptist movement in Switzerland, people already wondered about its secret. Their wondering (with minds just coming out of the Dark Ages) led them to suspect magic. Somewhere in the deep valley o ... read more
(The Secret of the Strength) 7. On to Conviction
On to Conviction
Nestled down in among the northern shoulders of the Swabian Alps, lies the old German city of Schwäbisch-Gmünd. The Romans knew this place. Its Johanneskirche (St. John's church) dates from 1230, and its cathedral of the Holy Cross w ... read more
(The Secret of the Strength) 8. On to the Teachings of Christ
On to the Teachings of Christ
In the Gospels the Anabaptists found the teachings of Christ, to which the following passages are the open door:
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother And ... read more
(The Secret of the Strength) 9. On to the Word
On to the Word
"I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on h ... read more
(The Secret of the Strength) Introduction
I well remember the first time I faced the stark realization that I was a Mennonite and different. My fourth-grade friend, Gregory, and I were riding home from public school on the bus. We were talking about our future, how we would always be friends and ... read more