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.

Jesus is ascended, not absent

By on May 25, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

Ascension Day. It’s the most obscure of all the major holy days on the Christian calendar. Coming 40 days after Easter, it commemorates the Ascension of Christ. The Christian calendar is designed to tell the gospel story from Advent to Pentecost. But most Protestants think the gospel story can be told with Christmas, Good Friday and Easter alone. It’s safe to say that Ascension Day (Thursday, May 25) will come and go unnoticed and uncelebrated by most American Christians. (It may have a bit more recognition in Europe, where it remains a...

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Are we practical atheists?

By on May 24, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

There are people who say they don’t believe in God. In our own moments of faith and confidence, we look at them wonderingly and think they must be crazy deluded, or else they’re lying to us. Because God is obvious. He’s everywhere, all around us, as far distant as the stars and as close as our own heartbeat. The world could not function without him; there would be no pleasure, no thought, no morality, no meaning. Reality would be a myth; there could be no existence. But then . . . we see other people, and they are church people, full of...

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How to pray for your enemies

By on May 23, 2017 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

What does it mean to pray for our enemies? For the terrorist taking many lives in response to other grave wrongs, for the known or unknown assailant afflicting apparently senseless violence, for the thief who breaks into your house in the middle of the day and steals your things and sense of safety, for the boss who treats you carelessly and with disrespect, for the frenemy who pretends friendship but spreads lies about you behind your back, for anyone who does us harm. Lord, are we really to pray for THAT person? In 3 Ways to Pray for Our...

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Do you want to be made whole?

By on May 22, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

There are reasons why we are not whole. Sometimes the fault is not our own; sometimes our un-wholeness is a result of the choices of others. Sometimes we are dealt illness that cannot be cured; we are captive by diagnoses and that cannot be restored. Sometimes? Sometimes we are ill because it’s easier to be sick than to do what it takes to become whole. There’s the story of the paralytic man who stayed by the pool of Bethesda. This pool was located in Jerusalem near a sheep market, and it had five porches. There’s not much description...

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No, Christian pacifists are not cowards

By on May 18, 2017 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

I am a follower of Jesus of Nazareth, which naturally means I am a Christian pacifist. I refuse to use violence against my enemies or intentionally harm them in any way, even if they harm me. I will love my enemies, I will die for my enemies, but I will never kill my enemies. In fact, since Jesus lived a life of nonviolence (see the inconvenient things we call the Gospel accounts), taught his disciples to live lives of nonviolence (you might want to skip Matthew 5 or Luke 6), and both Jesus and later New Testament writers tell us that we are...

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How did political progressives think they were Anabaptists?

By on May 15, 2017 in The World Together | 16 comments

The World Together Blog

Let me tell you the story about how many politically progressive Christians came to think they were Anabaptists. (I’m mainly talking about post-evangelical progressives rather than traditional mainline progressives.) To recap, I’ve made the argument that many progressive Christians believe they are Anabaptists when, in fact, they are Niebuhrians. This truth was exposed with the election of Donald Trump. The rise of Trump has politically energized progressive Christians in ways that are hard to reconcile with Anabaptist theology and...

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How good is too good?

By on May 10, 2017 in The World Together | 2 comments

The World Together Blog

Have you ever had the nagging feeling that you’ve forgotten something extremely important? What about that sinking or jolting feeling when you miss a step and your foot hits air? Imagine this feeling was constant. An ever-present buzz in your brain. It ebbs and flows. Sometimes it is the mild drone of a small fan, noticed only when all other distractions cease. Sometimes it’s an urgent murmur that’s difficult to ignore. Sometimes it swells to a roar that swallows you whole. It wraps its fingers around your chest and throat and squeezes....

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Mass starvation — does anyone give a … ?

By on May 9, 2017 in The World Together | 2 comments

The World Together Blog

“I have three things I’d like to say today,” said American author Tony Campolo to a crowd at the 1982 interdenominational Spring Harvest church conference in England. “First, while you were sleeping last night, 45,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. “Second, most of you don’t give a shit. “Third, what’s worse is that you’re more upset with the fact I said ‘shit’ than the fact that 45,000 kids died last night.” Campolo’s words — for...

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Why do we abuse women?

By on May 8, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

Mary Magdalene has become one of my favorite New Testament figures. She is also one of the most misused and abused, a fitting symbol for women throughout the ages who are still misused, abused and blamed. Mary Magdalene was one of Jesus’ most dedicated followers. She was present at his crucifixion and the first to see Jesus after his resurrection. Yet what most of us believe when we think of Mary Magdalene is a “fact” for which there is no evidence. She is remembered as a prostitute rather than as the faithful first bearer of the Good...

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An open letter about endless war and North Korea

By on May 5, 2017 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

In 2015, Mennonite Church USA adopted the “Faithful Witness Amid Endless War” resolution. It described the United States’ engagement in “boundless and endless war.” Ever since the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, our nation has waged perpetual war in pursuit of security from perceived threats of terrorism. Over the past 16 years, the targets of war have changed, the methods have grown more sophisticated, different politicians have controlled the levers of power — but we feel as insecure as ever. In recent days, the nation of North...

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