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.

Altars that need to go

By on Aug 15, 2019 in The World Together | 2 comments

The World Together Blog

The Old Testament stories are full of kings and priests. There were two differences: the ones who tore down altars and the ones who allowed them to stay. Several kings did what was right, but most of them didn’t. They were either influenced by their pagan wives, by previous kings, by politics or by the people. Hezekiah was one king who destroyed the high places, shattered sacred pillars, cut down poles and tore down altars that were used to worship false gods. The hold of previous kings and the people was heavy and strong. Each king had to...

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What’s so important about community anyways? A lot.

By on Aug 9, 2019 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

What’s so important about community anyways? A lot. It’s the one word present in our mission, our vision and our core values statement. Here are three compelling voices on community, and why it matters so much to us. Sharon Daloz Parks spoke at Goshen College last month in the conference, “Healing the Heart of Higher Education.” The unprecedented challenges that we face, Parks said, require an educational community of “shoulder-to-shoulder mentoring.” To thrive, Parks said, we must seek community that offers us: — comfort, —...

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Bound by love

By on Aug 8, 2019 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

When the lawyer finally got face time with Jesus, he poured out what was heaviest on his heart, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He groped for a guarantee. He wanted a divine will and testament. He was begging for a bill of rights. As usual, Jesus pivoted on freedom. He was never much into being The Bible Answer Man. He asked the lawyer how he interpreted the sacred text. The lawyer’s answer, according to Jesus, was spot-on. Eternity’s most valuable asset has nothing to do with where we go when we die. It is a...

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El Paso and Dayton mass shootings: Christians must act as well as pray

By and on Aug 6, 2019 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

Back-to-back murderous acts of gun violence left at least 29 dead and 53 injured in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, Aug. 3-4. Many Americans want to help but feel helpless to do so. One doesn’t have to look any further than social media feeds to see countless posts from well-meaning people offering “thoughts and prayers,” a phrase that has become a common condolence in the aftermath of a mass shooting. Because we are at a loss for what to say — let alone do — after these tragedies, it is tempting to offer trite platitudes. But this...

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A system of (dis)trust

By on Aug 5, 2019 in Latest Issue, The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

A long time ago, Ona, a leader in the Bolivian Mennonite Church, made an offhand but accurate comment: In Bolivia, everything is negotiable. I’ve found that to be true even now, more than two decades later. For example, there are traffic lights now, but no one steps off the curb for a green light without making sure traffic is, in fact, stopping. Drivers don’t always stop. It’s not uncommon just to keep driving through — until the light has been red for a while. And then, as if at the end of a stretched-out elastic band, they finally...

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Does church membership have scriptural grounds?

By on Jul 30, 2019 in The World Together | 2 comments

The World Together Blog

Earlier this year, the Constituency Leaders Council of Mennonite Church USA began a discernment process regarding what ought to be done with the denomination’s membership guidelines. From the brief report given in early July at convention in Kansas City, this may become a critical topic over the next two years. However, I think that we should first ask if voluntary membership among Christians is even biblical. If membership has no scriptural grounds, then we ought to move on and discuss subjects much more enjoyable! Most of us are aware that...

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‘Seculosity’ author traces society’s search for righteousness outside the church

By and on Jul 23, 2019 in The World Together | 1 comment

A growing number of Americans do not follow a religion. But chances are that the details of their lives — from their phones and their politics to their dinner plates and how they raise their kids — are still ruled by some sort of a religious impulse, says author David Zahl. Zahl is the founder of the popular nondenominational Christian Mockingbird Ministries project, which formed 12 years ago to reach out to young adults who felt they had been “burned” by the church. His most recent book, Seculosity: How Career, Parenting, Technology,...

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Losing inerrancy

By on Jul 19, 2019 in The World Together | 9 comments

The World Together Blog

When I was 17 years old, almost exactly 47 years ago, I made a decision to become a Christian. At the time, my motivation was that I wanted to know the truth. As a thoughtful, idealistic adolescent, I thought about truth a lot. I didn’t have many people to discuss this with, hardly any actually. But I was thinking and thinking. I was ready to make a move, though, and I did get an explanation from one close friend that I found persuasive. So I took the step of asking Jesus to be my savior. I truly meant it, and my life did change — mainly,...

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I feel guilty about my free time

By on Jul 17, 2019 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

When I was bemoaning my singleness once, a wise person told me, “You made your choices.” At first, I wanted to complain, “But I didn’t know the consequences of those choices! I didn’t know that college years are when you have the most marriage opportunities. I thought I’d have plenty of time later.” But do I regret my choices? Not really. Would I give up all the experiences, friendships and purpose I’ve found as a result of those choices? Probably not. When people comment on all the free time I have as a single, I used to...

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You give them something to eat

By on Jul 15, 2019 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

I spent part of the morning of May 31 packaging and delivering bread. Every three years, the Mennonite-ish churches in our area pool their time, talent and resources to organize a relief sale for Mennonite Central Committee. And every three years, a friend in our church uses our church kitchen to bake bread for the sale. Like, a lot of bread. Like, 350 loaves of bread. He arrives at 4:30 in the morning, turns on CBC radio and works until late afternoon. Sourdough, whole wheat, muesli, raisin, white . . .  the list goes on and on. He told me...

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