So many books have been written about the Amish I didn't see the need for another one. But a new one, co-authored by Donald Kraybill, Steven Nolt, and David Weaver-Zercher, has just appeared on the market. The Amish Way is sort of a sequel to Amish Grace, published three years ago by the same authors after the murder of the Amish school girls at Nickel Mines.
The world was captivated with the story of the forgiveness of the Amish that followed the Nickel Mines tragedy. The authors of Amish Grace decided there was no book that fully explained the Amish history, beliefs, practices and affections. They decided to "listen more closely for the religious heartbeat that sustains their entire way of life," to examine, as the subtitle puts it, "Patient Faith in a Perilous World."
I have not read the book yet but have read some reviews of it. One review says the authors list the benefits of Amish life: security of faith, serenity, satisfaction and stability of community. They say the four costs of living the Amish way are surrender of self-determination, options, conveniences and privacy. Some of the things we can learn from them are the value of practices, patience, past and people.
The statement that gripped me most in this review says, "The authors make it clear the Amish insist on obeying the many biblical sayings that we conveniently play down, ignore or explain away."
That is a mouthful. Does the Bible say what it means and mean what it says? Then why don't we do what it says?
Amish are not the only born again Christians in the world and not all Amish are born again Christians. Whatever applications we make, our lifestyle should be based on the same biblical principles of the Amish way of life--faith, community, submission, and patience.
Too many Christians have compromised with or swallowed the world's philosophies, conveniently playing down, ignoring or explaining away what the Bible says. And what is the result? In plain words, if you live like the world you get the world's problems. You don't have to be Amish to live "the Amish way." Just read your Bible and do what it says.