Blog

Mennonite World Review curates a blog, The World Together, of Anabaptist-themed writing from a wide variety of sources across the Anabaptist world. To submit a blog post, email editor@mennoworld.org.

White Mennonite static

By on Aug 3, 2020 in Latest Issue, The World Together | 3 comments

The World Together Blog

The Mennonite church has the opportunity to become a dependable partner in the work of dismantling racism. The church as a whole has a record of racism — both overt and covert — that has been attested to by generations of BIPOC (black, indigenous and people of color) community members both within and outside the church. The question is not whether there is racism among white Mennonites but whether we who are white and Mennonite will be able to do the work necessary to be effective allies in the struggle. In hopes of equipping the church to...

read more

Passive before? Be active now.

By on Jul 30, 2020 in Latest Issue, The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

My friend and fellow writer Lauren Zimmerman says she’s heard Mennonites express regret for not being more involved in the civil rights movement. That doesn’t surprise me. However, she also said she’s seen those same people continue to be passive regarding recent events following the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police. I wish that surprised me more. To those who may feel similar regrets but choose to be silent, I say this: We are living a civil rights movement right now — amplified by a pandemic as well as economic,...

read more

Still in the lions’ den

By on Jul 27, 2020 in Latest Issue, The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

If you go to church for 70 years, as I have, some biblical stories get repeated over and over. One is Daniel in the ­lions’ den. To tell the truth, I haven’t read that story for years. Yet, recently, one of my pastors preached a virtual sermon from Daniel 6 as I sat on my couch sipping coffee. I recalled how this story had formed and informed my faith. When I was young, I had a Bible with pictures. There was a beautiful garden with a snake scaring a woman. Then there was the even more scary picture of a father with a knife in his hand and...

read more

On reparations

By on Jul 24, 2020 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

The prevailing justice system of the United States (and many other countries) understands doing justice in terms of determining innocence or guilt and then applying appropriate punishment. In contrast, Mennonites, among others, promote and practice restorative justice. Rather than defining justice in terms of punishment within a penal system, restorative justice seeks what is humanly possible to restore harm done. Restoration necessarily precedes reconciliation, for which the intended result is healing of relationships so parties can move...

read more

“No space for such people”?

By on Jul 22, 2020 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

In the last few days I have become aware again that “Mennonites” are a minority in Germany. Hardly anyone knows what Mennonites really believe and how they live, and the diversity that exists among us Mennonites. A recent WDR news report about dozens of COVID-19 infections at a Mennonite Brethren congregation in Euskirchen was illustrated with an image of American Old Order Mennonites wearing bonnets. Also included were videos about Mennonites in Bolivia and links to the more mainstream AMG German Mennonite denomination. Then a WDR...

read more

There’s always some dude on a horse

By on Jul 20, 2020 in Latest Issue, The World Together | 2 comments

The World Together Blog

During a trip to Portugal, we were strolling around Lisbon when we walked past the statue of a Portuguese general. This military hero from long ago was astride a horse, with reins in one hand and a sword in the other. The statue embodied the imperial aspirations of a Portugal that is now long gone. In my travels I’ve seen this same statue in every capital city — the horse, the dude, the sword, the pigeon droppings. Of course, they’re not really the same statue, but if you’re a foreigner and don’t know who the hero is, they all look...

read more

Another MWC assembly miracle?

By on Jul 16, 2020 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

Did you know that a pandemic has preceded three consecutive Mennonite World Conference assemblies in the Global South? For Zimbabwe in 2003, it was SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). For Paraguay in 2009, in was H1N1 (also known as swine flu). And now, planners for the assembly next year in Indonesia are facing an even more severe pandemic, COVID-19. In all three events, an epidemic loomed in the background. Zimbabwe 2003 The assembly in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, faced several serious issues. The Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade...

read more

Resurgence of a global Mennonite far right

By on Jul 13, 2020 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

In this time of global pandemic and international protests against systemic police brutality, thoughtful ­Anabaptist journalism has become more essential than ever. I am grateful to Mennonite World Review for its principled, high-quality reporting. This newspaper has cut through the kind of misinformation that has become too common in our age of rising authoritarianism. Its editors have been unabashed in spreading the fundamentally Christian message of love that Black Lives Matter. As important as up-to-date news coverage is the slow-burn...

read more

New normal for Jacob, and for us

By on Jul 8, 2020 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

The world is going through a crisis that will change us. We’re not sure things will ever again be normal as we have known it. Yet, like Jacob in the Old Testament, we know God will be with us in our changing situation. Jacob’s story begins with Isaac (Abraham’s son) and Rebekah. In Genesis 24, Abraham wanted his son Isaac to have a wife from Abraham’s homeland, so he sent his servant Eliezer to find a wife for Isaac. Eliezer prayed and asked God to help him find the right young woman for Isaac. Rebekah returned with Eliezer to marry...

read more

Why we should reconsider Augustine

By on Jul 2, 2020 in The World Together | 6 comments

Why we should reconsider Augustine

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 wrong with Christendom. But I’m convinced that if we disregard Augustine we’re missing out on some of the richest theology and wisest spiritual guidance the church has to offer. There’s a reason most of the church for most of history has considered Augustine such a towering figure. Even Menno ­Simons quoted him. Anabaptists have...

read more