Why we should reconsider Augustine

Jul 2, 2020 by

I love St. Augustine of Hippo. That might not seem like a big deal, but since at least the time of John H. Yoder, Augustine has been on the outs with the Anabaptist world, seen as the author of all that was...

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Bible: Steadfast prophet, faithless wife

May 18, 2020 by

When Hosea prophesied at the sunset of the northern kingdom of Israel, he cast a vision for the people’s future by recalling their past with God. It’s been all downhill since Jeroboam II: king after king...

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Bible: We reject the bunker mentality

May 4, 2020 by

Drive south out of our community toward Wichita and you’ll spot an advertisement for a bunker. It’s not a billboard, but a display of the real thing: a full-size corrugated steel hidey-hole. It looks like...

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Bible: The rider on a pale horse

Apr 20, 2020 by

So this is how the world ends: not with a bang or a whimper but with the sound of your last square of toilet paper going down the tubes. God’s people have been here before (sort of) — enemies from within...

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Bible: Nevertheless, God rescues

Apr 6, 2020 by

I almost drowned in the ocean once. I consider myself a strong swimmer, and that afternoon I confidently waded out from the beach and slipped under the waves. Except that those waves began to batter me as a...

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Bible: Resurrection changes everything

Mar 23, 2020 by

When the miners in the collapsed Copiapó mine in Chile were finally rescued and shuttled to safety through three miles of stone on Oct. 13, 2010, Chilean president Sebastián Piñera was there to greet them....

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Bible: The trumpet call to holiness

Mar 9, 2020 by

We were driving through the night in a pickup truck somewhere in the deserts of northwest Mexico. After an evening church gathering, I and several other hermanos were headed home, bumping along in the back as...

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Bible: Scaling the watchtower

Feb 24, 2020 by

Lake Titicaca, impossibly wide and deep and high above the sea, fills an immense mountain trough in the Andes along the Peru-Bolivia border. The lake is so big that it encompasses rocky islands. Strangely...

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Bible: Together — root, trunk and branch

May 13, 2019 by

Last fall I grafted a half dozen varieties of apples onto my apple tree. I’m a poor and inexperienced grafter, so not surprisingly only a couple of them took. I discovered one in the spring — a stout...

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Bible: Mountains below the surface

Apr 29, 2019 by

One thing I love about Kansas is the mountains. Oh, we have them all right. They’re just buried under 600 feet of Harney Silt Loam. These Kansas mountains, called the Nemaha Ridge, are composed of massive...

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Bible: Want proof of the resurrection?

Apr 15, 2019 by

Oh, for a video camera trained on the tomb on that original Easter Sunday! How perfect it would be to witness the grinding of the grave stone, the genuflection of the soldiers, the gleaming of the...

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Bible: What’s your alabaster jar?

Apr 1, 2019 by

While the chief priests and elders schemed to kill Jesus, a woman entered Simon the leper’s house and blessed him with costly perfume. “Why this waste?” said the disciples. “This ointment could have...

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Bible: To cure, cleanse, exorcise — and resurrect

Mar 18, 2019 by

A Peruvian pastor friend tells the story of leading a group of young evangelists out to some remote villages along the sinuous mountain roads of the Andes. When a lamb darted in front of their van pursued by...

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Bible: You’ve already been called home

Mar 4, 2019 by

When the State of Illinois decided to expand I-74 just north of our family farmstead in a multiyear spate of civil engineering angioplasty, my father decided to move our house. This was no small feat. Our...

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Bible: Because Jesus is true

Feb 18, 2019 by

Sometimes I talk to my seatmates on the plane. Sometimes I don’t. But when the young woman next to me had a panic attack brought on by her just-discharged-from-Afghan­istan post-traumatic stress, how could...

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Waiting for God in silence

Jan 23, 2018 by

I wonder how much of our modern lives is about fleeing silence. True silence is a fearful thing for many, a disconcerting, bulgy reality that we do our best to avoid. I recently learned of Orfield Laboratories...

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Bible: Yes, worship does something

Nov 6, 2017 by

Afriend once waxed poetic about the peace he experienced when receiving the communion wafer in the Cath­olic mass. Since I had been reared on a diet of just-a-symbol cracker breads and grape juice cuplets, I...

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Bible: Channeling the zeal of Phinehas

Oct 23, 2017 by

There may be nothing more unsettling to the (post)­mod­ern mind than zeal. Faith’s OK, many suppose, so long as it’s small and well-behaved, trotted out on a short leash at the odd moments — like birth...

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Bible: No faith without struggle

Oct 9, 2017 by

When we visit family in Lima, Peru, that cement city hustling under a concrete sky, we’re always a little taken aback by the traffic. Though our surprise could be chalked up to country-mouse sensibilities,...

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Learning to think like Jesus

Sep 28, 2017 by

I’ve been coaching third-/fourth-grade soccer along with another dad this fall. (No, I don’t know what I’m doing — though thankfully, my friend does!) We drill the kids. We scrimmage with the kids. We...

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