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 rstella@mennoworld.org.

‘What’s an Anabaptist?’ Or is it ‘Who’s an Anabaptist?’

By on Aug 23, 2016 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

The best way to sort out “what” an Anabaptist is is by finding the stories of Anabaptists. Peter Mommsen’s exceptional study, Homage to a Broken Man, the story of J. Heinrich Arnold, is one of the finest ways to learn what Anabaptism (really) is. In fact, the best of Anabaptism is found here and so too is the worst of Anabaptism. Before we get there, I repeat what has been said here a number of times, namely, the sketch of Anabaptism by Harold S. Bender as found in his classic essay called The Anabaptist Vision. No, it is not true that...

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Grappling with ‘mission’

By on Aug 22, 2016 in The World Together | 4 comments

The World Together Blog

This summer, I stumbled upon a fact about the Mennonite church that I had somehow missed before: We are trying really hard to be a “missional people” these days. Ok, no… wait. I knew that, didn’t I? All the Mennonites I know love service, especially overseas. A good chunk of my Mennonite peers are gearing up to depart for yearlong service commitments. I guess Mennonite Mission Network people are called “missionaries”… Mennonite Central Committee might even dabble in the term. So does that make me a missionary? With horror, I...

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Heeding the call

By on Aug 19, 2016 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

As people, we have all been created with divine intent and purpose. We have, as image bearers of God, been given a mission and vision for who we are, who God wants us to be, and the impact we are to leave on the world. Frederick Buchner one remarked, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” Men and women throughout history have been answering this call, from Abraham who left his homeland for a promise, to Moses who found his calling while tending sheep in the desert. Ruth found...

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Jesus, Moses and the rights and wrongs of leadership

By on Aug 16, 2016 in The World Together | 2 comments

The World Together Blog

In response to Andy Wade’s Sunday morning reflection at our Celtic retreat, I have been rereading and pondering the Beatitudes in Matt. 5:1-12 this week. The passage begins with a phrase I had never noticed before: When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain… I too climbed a mountain during the retreat; at least that was how it felt as I walked the new experiential prayer trail which wended its way up and down the mountainside of our property. Then Saturday morning, in a short beautiful ceremony of affirmation and appreciation, I...

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Pentecost wasn’t a mistake

By on Aug 15, 2016 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

I’ve never viewed Pentecost as a mistake. The first time I read the remarkable account in Acts 2 of how the Holy Spirit filled Jesus’ disciples with miraculous power so that they could speak other languages; how Peter’s passionate sermon resulted in 3,000 receiving Jesus; how all the disciples then had everything in common so that nobody had to be poor — I knew that this was good. In fact, it was awesome. Luke’s point isn’t that this is a tragic event that shouldn’t be repeated; he’s describing the best church ever! I realized...

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Beauty in borderlands: My family and Malcolm Gladwell

By on Aug 12, 2016 in The World Together | 3 comments

The World Together Blog

When I called my parents on their 72nd wedding anniversary in early July, mother told me dad had brought her a bouquet from his garden. “A thing of beauty is a joy forever,” she said, quoting John Keats. Dad, who at 98 still grows vegetables, grapes and flowers, had brought mother, whose mobility is limited after multiple strokes, a gift of beauty that brightened her spirits. My eyes welled up. I was about to set off on a two-week walk in the borderlands of Scotland and England on St. Cuthbert’s Way from Melrose to Lindisfarne. Brexit...

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God, the divorcé

By on Aug 10, 2016 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

“I observed that it was because unfaithful Israel had committed adultery that I had sent her away and had given her a certificate of divorce”  — Jeremiah 3:8a “This is what the Lord says: Where is your mother’s divorce certificate that I used to send her away? Or who were My creditors that I sold you to? Look, you were sold for your iniquities, and your mother was put away because of your transgressions” — Isaiah 50:1 These verses make me uncomfortable. I’ve gotten used to the fact that Jesus lived a finite, painful life...

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5 more things American Christians should remember this election cycle

By on Aug 8, 2016 in The World Together | 7 comments

The World Together Blog

Political season is a challenging time for Christians — or at least, it should be. The American political system is unique in many ways. Much of this uniqueness is good and worthy of respect and even admiration at times. However, the American political system is also unique in the divisive way it separates Christians from one another. As I travel the world and talk to people from other cultures, particularly Christians, I experience a consistent confusion from our brothers and sisters who watch us from afar, and cannot wrap their heads...

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No creed but the Bible?

By on Aug 5, 2016 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

Three observations. First, in the history of the church nearly all churches have been creedal, and by that I mean they recite either The Apostles’ Creed or the Nicene Creed (actually, the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed) and they see in the creed the genuine summary of the Christian faith. Second, many churches today have both abandoned the creeds and have in their place constructed their own “Statement of Faith.” That Statement of Faith often affirms most of what is in the creed, but such churches/leaders are nervous about being...

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Love and respect — even when the Trumperor has no clothes

By on Aug 4, 2016 in The World Together | 2 comments

The World Together Blog

Vice-president Joe Biden recently said of candidate Donald Trump, “This guy doesn’t have a clue about the middle class. Not a clue… He has no clue about what makes America great. Actually, he has no clue, period.” Vice-presidential candidate Tim Kaine spoke even more harshly: “Folks, you cannot believe one word that comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth. Our nation is too great to put it in the hands of a slick-talking, empty-promising, self-promoting, one-man wrecking crew.” But are these attack-mode...

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