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.

A personal Anabaptist political manifesto

By on Dec 23, 2019 in The World Together | 0 comments

“The worldly are armed with steel and iron, but Christians are armed with the armor of God, with truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and with the Word of God.” Schleitheim Brotherly Union, article 6, 1527 “All of the sovereigns, protectors, and rulers are only swineherds in contrast to the sovereignty of Christ.” Pilgram Marpeck, 1531 Among the many striking images contained in illustrated versions of Martyrs Mirror is the etching of Simon den Kramer defying the public procession of the sacrament in the town of Bergen op...

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Celebrating the holidays — and every day

By on Dec 16, 2019 in Latest Issue, The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

Celebration is what we are called to. We are called to practice joy by celebrating. What we have to learn is how to celebrate life. Celebrating life is not a party but an awareness that every moment is special and asks to be lifted up and recognized as a blessing. To celebrate means to lift up the moment and say, “This is God’s moment.” To celebrate is to lift up today and say, “This is the day the Lord has made!” Celebration doesn’t mean to celebrate only the good moments. Ecstatic joy embraces all of life and does not shy from...

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Burying Bibles

By on Dec 12, 2019 in The World Together | 0 comments

Keith and Judy Harder of Hillsboro, Kan., look at old Bibles they have collected before burying them in November in their corral. — Keith and Judy Harder

We were moving to smaller quarters in Hillsboro, Kan., and needed to downsize, including downsizing our library. Books collected over years that documented my intellectual and spiritual pilgrimage and their authors who were my friends and mentors and in some cases my tormentors needed to go. Lovingly I held each book and tried to remember its impact on my life and why I kept it before it was sent to a second hand bookstore or library or the trash. And then there were the Bibles that filled one whole shelf that were outdated or literally...

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I wear my heart on my sleeve

By and on Dec 9, 2019 in Latest Issue, The World Together | 0 comments

​A tattoo on Joshua Garber’s right arm tells the story of Dirk Willems from Martyrs Mirror. — Alisha Garber/MMN

When Alisha and I and our son, Asher, moved to Barcelona, many things didn’t make the cut in our attempt to “leave all things behind” and follow Jesus. However, Martyrs Mirror was never on the chopping block, despite its six-pound weight. A 17th-century book of more than 1,500 pages, Martyrs Mirror is filled with stories and testimonies of Anabaptists and other similar-minded Christians who were persecuted and killed during the Reformation. Perhaps its most famous story is about Dirk Willems, a Dutch Anabaptist who was running from the...

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The good kind of power

By on Dec 6, 2019 in Latest Issue, The World Together | 3 comments

The World Together Blog

“I did not give you a spirit of fear but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” So wrote Paul to Timothy (2 Tim. 1:7). The church doesn’t believe this, or so it seems. It rarely talks about power in positive terms. Mennonites have often pitted “faithfulness” against “effectiveness.” We can be skeptical of people or groups that are effective, grow in number and wield power. This, we all too often believe, is a sign of having sold out. Many of us prefer holding a sign on the corner, not having much impact but knowing...

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Advent: from ranting to singing

By on Dec 4, 2019 in Latest Issue, The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

Advent is a season of patience and reflection, even confession and tears. It is a time of observing, watching, staying awake. The Isaiah texts that mark this year’s Advent scriptures are anything but quiet. The prophet begins with a clarion call: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord” (Isaiah 2:1-5). For 21st-century Christians, this raises the question of just where we might go. Well, the prophet says, go to the place of judging between the nations, beating swords into plowshares and learning of war no more. I respond, “That...

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Jesus and the Old Testament on killing

By on Nov 25, 2019 in The World Together | 11 comments

The World Together Blog

God, incarnate in Jesus Christ, tells us to love our enemies. How does that fit with Old Testament commands to kill? After Joshua 10 describes Joshua conquering city after city, it concludes: “He totally destroyed all who breathed, just as the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded.” In more than 100 Old Testament passages, Yahweh commands people to kill other people. How can all this Old Testament material be reconciled with God’s final revelation in Jesus? An easy solution would be to say that these Old Testament texts have no...

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I didn’t just change my mind

By on Nov 22, 2019 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

Moses got a burning bush. In my case, the voice wasn’t in a burning bush. It wasn’t even a voice. After hosting 20 exchange students, I was done. Done transporting, making food, listening to teenage issues, worrying, supporting their activities, parenting. Done. Retired. One of our former students called. Would we host her best friend’s brother? No. But, as an exchange program coordinator, I would find this young man a family. Everybody I asked said no. And my husband, the extrovert, had not been ready to quit at 20 students. That was my...

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Extending the good news to those who are excluded

By on Nov 18, 2019 in The World Together | 0 comments

“He has sent me to proclaim good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken-hearted” (Isaiah 61:1). On a recent Mennonite Central Committee learning tour, we heard overwhelming stories of abuse from the women we met at KOSHISH in Kathmandu, Nepal. Bound in chains. Hidden away. Abandoned. These women were abandoned because of their mental disabilities. KOSHISH director Matrika Devkota told his own story of mental challenge and hardship. He had a breakdown in his 20s and was eventually able to regain his health through the intervention of...

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Observations about women’s roles

By on Nov 15, 2019 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

I can’t even count the number of times I have started and stopped writing about issues related to women. The subject of a woman’s role in the church and community is a minefield, and I don’t feel like getting blown to pieces with the criticism that is bound to come regardless of what I might say on the matter. Even more than the inevitable criticism, the fact that I do not fully understand God’s plan for women keeps me from writing. I have puzzled long and hard over many passages of Scripture, read different interpretations of them,...

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