The Activist Impulse's first essay, "Activist Impulses across Time: North American Evangelicalism and Anabaptism as Conversation Partners," Goshen College historian Steven M. Nolt complexifies this picture quite a bit. Rather than viewing the relationship between these traditions as a one-way influence, Nolt shows how these traditions have "engaged in a conversation, both literal and figurative, that has been enlivening and engaging, cautions and contentious" (11). Nolt offers a number of anecdotes--ranging from a former Mennonite turned evangelical worship leader whose songs are subsequently sung at a Mennonite youth conference, to a popular evangelical pastor asking for help evangelizing unreached people groups, such as the Amish(!)--before describing how "the activist impulse" is a shared trait in (North) American evangelical and Anabaptist history as well as their contemporary manifestations.
Throughout this shared history, Nolt argues that Anabaptists and evangelicals are better viewed as "conversation partners" rather than as rival traditions. To illustrate his position, Nolt offers a number of historical case studies. For example, Nolt describes Biblical Seminary in New York during the mid-twentieth century. As a interdenominational biblical seminary that focused on inductive biblical study, BSNY appealed to evangelicals and Anabaptists alike. Indeed, a number of Mennonite graduates from BSNY went on to teach at Mennonite biblical seminaries, which largely followed BSNY's inductive method.
Not all of Nolt's stories are as positive, but collectively they support Nolt's thesis well. Nolt concludes that these stories "testify to a lively and enlivening conversation that suggests three interrelated longings among members of these Christian communities" (37), including a desire for spiritual renewal, an uncomfortable relationship with American culture, and a recognition that each respective tradition is an incomplete representation of the Kingdom of God. Nolt suggests that continuing the conversation, especially with non-Western evangelical and Anabaptist churches, might prove fruitful for both traditions going forward.
Of course, you will want to check out the book to read Nolt's entire essay, filled with humorous, ironic, and compelling stories along with a healthy dose of optimism about the ongoing conversation among evangelicals and Anabaptists. While you're at it, be sure to check out Nolt's excellent books on the Amish.