I read this book for an Anabaptist history class at a denominational school with direct lineage to the Anabapist movement. I myself did not grow up in this tradition, but have grown to love many aspects of it. This book has surely contributed to this. Estep does a great of job cutting out the fluff and writing a straight forward book on the movement. I particularly liked the last section of the book which focused on the probable Anabaptist connection to the Baptists. Since my theology leans more towards Baptist thinking, particularly the Reformed variety, this was most interesting to me. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about the Anabaptist movement and its contributions to modern Christianity.
Gives the historical background, foundation, and progress of the "re-baptizers" as their critics called them. The ministries of the early Anabaptist leaders are followed in detail in both Switzerland, Germany, and Holland. After a historical review of each leader's influence on the movement, the latter half of the book provides a detailed examination of these leaders' positions on matters of doctrine such as infant baptism, the trinity, pacifism, the swearing of oaths, the ban, and civil authority.
Perhaps the most interesting sections of this book relates to the ongoing and violent persecutions which befell the early Anabaptists. Not only the dominant Catholic hierarch but their fellow Reformers made martyrs out of the early Anabaptists. The arguments and misrepresentations made against the Anabaptists by their Catholic and Protestant tormentors helps to define what these people did, in fact, believe in.
A great book for understanding where the Mennonites, Hutterites, and other Anabaptists came from.