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.

On war, are we following Jesus or Muhammad?

By on Jan 2, 2018 in The World Together | 7 comments

The World Together Blog

I recently read through the Quran to understand my Muslim friends a bit better and, perhaps, to find a few interesting historical notes about Islam. Instead, an unwelcome realization about fellow Christians started to dawn on me. One doesn’t go long till we realize (unsurprisingly) that Muhammad’s view of war, fighting and killing enemies is the polar opposite of what we see Jesus teaching His followers & practicing. But what was jarring to observe as I progressed is that many Christians who justify war seem be using the Quran’s...

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Winds of change

By on Dec 26, 2017 in The World Together | 4 comments

The World Together Blog

It seems like everyone is writing about church these days. Asher Witmer wrote a series examining his history and experience with the Mennonite church, and what he is seeking and hoping for. Harvey Yoder writes, “I’m old enough to remember the walls and ditches and barriers created by people from different church groups among the Amish and Anabaptists. When I was Amish, people who left the plain church were often excommunicated, including myself. Jumping into the Beachy Fellowship circle was liberating, freeing and we talked among...

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Our Christian hope

By on Dec 22, 2017 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

Today I am blessed to celebrate birthday No. 69. Family will surround me; we will eat seafood and carrot cake. It will be a special day. Then comes Christmas. I anticipate celebrating that day, too. And I’m bringing this additional post in honor of and preparation for Christmas. What is the hope of those of us who identify ourselves as Jesus-followers? What do we expect to happen when “the great day of the LORD” arrives in full? A dozen years ago, I led a class in my congregation on the content of “Christian hope.” It was a...

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Dwell with us

By on Dec 21, 2017 in The World Together | 2 comments

The World Together Blog

“I think that the Christian doctrine of redemption — this idea that we need to be ‘redeemed’ from something — is just wrong. And it’s done all kinds of harm.” The comment came in the midst of an invigorating and wide-ranging conversation with an acquaintance over coffee recently. It was one of those delightful encounters where the person you’re talking with is much smarter than you — where you feel like you’re kind of scrambling to keep up. It was good exercise for the brain. My initial reaction to the comment was...

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Mennonite or follower of Christ?

By on Dec 18, 2017 in The World Together | 6 comments

The World Together Blog

If the early Anabaptists were alive today, I am quite certain the Mennonite church would run them out of their congregations. I realize that’s a pretty strong statement, and not altogether fair. But I’m willing to stand by it nonetheless. The early Anabaptist leaders, such as Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz, George Blaurock, Michael Sattler and others, began to question the status quo of the institutionalized church. Should the church really baptize infants? Should a believer take oaths or go to war? Even more, they questioned the ruling of a...

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Prophecy doesn’t justify Trump’s Jerusalem statement

By on Dec 14, 2017 in The World Together | 5 comments

The World Together Blog

In a recent broadcast of The 700 Club, the evangelist Pat Robertson welcomed President Trump’s announcement about moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. “It’s absolutely crucial in terms of biblical prophecy,” Robertson said. While I know firsthand the harsh conditions imposed on Palestinians, my comments here focus on the claim that actions today by and for modern Israel are justified by “biblical prophecy.” Like many evangelicals, Robertson believes the modern state of Israel fulfills a biblical prediction that was a...

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How often should the Lord’s Supper be?

By on Dec 13, 2017 in The World Together | 4 comments

The World Together Blog

The issue on the table today is how often we should celebrate the Lord’s Supper. Whether we call it Mass, Communion, Eucharist or the Lord’s Supper, how often? Here’s a reality: Some today are weekly communicants (Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Plymouth Brethren, Restoration movement churches) while others are monthly, quarterly or annually. A second reality: Some in monthly or quarterly tradition — low church evangelical types — are moving into the weekly churches because they believe the Lord’s Supper ought to be central to worship...

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Good news for Jerusalem?

By on Dec 12, 2017 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

My wife and I have led 13 groups of college students to the Middle East since 1991 as part of Eastern Mennonite University’s required cross-cultural program. During the semester-long immersive travel, we stop each year at a special chapel. The Dominus Flevit overlooks the city walls of ancient Jerusalem and the stunning golden dome of the Al Aqsa Mosque. According to tradition, Jesus paused here on the Mount of Olives on his way to cleanse the temple. “Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem,” Jesus cries as he laments the corruption of...

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Of saints and crusaders

By on Dec 11, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

Some time around 1190 AD, a handful of barefoot Christian monks in plain, ragged robes had an audience with a powerful Muslim sultan in his grand and glorious palace in Egypt. The leader of these monks was Francis of Assisi; the sultan was the cousin of Saladin, the general leading the Muslim armies that were soon to defeat the Christian knights in their Third Crusade to retake the Holy Land. Before the sultan, Francis witnessed to two things that, for him, were joined at the hip: the gospel of Jesus Christ and his desire for peace between...

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Our higher calling: Jesus’ rival nation

By on Dec 8, 2017 in The World Together | 2 comments

The World Together Blog

I was recently exploring how different institutions use vision statements to appeal to their audience. One statement stood out to me from a college that professes Christianity in New York: “We exist to graduate students who will go on to positions of leadership in our strategic national institutions: government, business, media, law, education, and the church.” It is shocking how these words present the church as an equal and mutually exclusive choice among institutions for Christians. We must not capitulate to the notion that being...

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