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.

Can you have an Anabaptist megachurch?

By on Feb 24, 2020 in Latest Issue, The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

Several times over the last few years I’ve heard statements like this: “Boyd may embrace an Anabaptist theology, but his church (Woodland Hills) cannot be, by definition, an Anabaptist church because an Anabaptist church can’t be a megachurch.” I’ve heard similar things about our sister church, The Meeting House, in Toronto. The reasoning behind these statements seems to be that in Anabaptist theology, the church is a community of disciples who model the love of God to the world by how they love one another and share life together....

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Peter and Paul: Delusional hope, irrational fear

By on Feb 17, 2020 in The World Together | 5 comments

The World Together Blog

Peter started out as a man of delusional hope. Paul began as a man of irrational fear. Both are parables for our time. The role of tens of thousands of Christians in the election of the current president of the United States surprised many people. But the Bible could have helped us to predict that, if we had read its stories with a better understanding. Particularly the stories of Peter and Paul. Peter and Paul are two of the best-known apostles of the Christian story. But their stories have been disastrously misinterpreted, with appalling...

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Ten Thousand lamentations

By on Feb 13, 2020 in Latest Issue, The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

The year 2020 did not begin well. We’d all barely finished our portzelky when we were forced to contend with rumors of war and visitations from pestilence. Throughout January, disaster was all around us. But none of that prepared us for the news that would rock the Mennonite world — the closure of Ten Thousand Villages in Canada. There will inevitably be people responding to this post that they had seen it coming and that everyone knew — “everyone” meaning the sorts of people who diligently read the annual reports for every...

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Loved enough to be good

By on Feb 10, 2020 in The World Together | 0 comments

Sue and Wally Fahrer — Mennonite Mission Network

A Mennonite bishop once pointed out to me there was an area where Jesus didn’t send his disciples. In Acts 1:8, when Jesus told his disciples they would be his witnesses “in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth,” why was Galilee omitted? The bishop answered his own question: “Galilee was home to all the disciples, except Judas. Jesus didn’t send them home.” That message has worked in my life at an unconscious level through decades of ministry. The problem with preaching at home is that we get swallowed up in the...

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Elections: I Samuel 8 (revised)

By on Feb 6, 2020 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

1 When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as Israel’s leaders. 2 The name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba. 3 But his sons did not follow his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice. 4 So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. 5 They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.” 6 And Samuel said to them,...

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How would Jesus impeach?

By on Feb 4, 2020 in The World Together | 2 comments

The World Together Blog

“If an offender refuses to hear you, then tell it to the ekklesia (the assembly). If he will not hear the ekklesia, then you must remove that person, consider them an outsider.” — Jesus (who loved outsiders) I can already hear people objecting to my title. The Bible isn’t political, isn’t about impeachment, and has nothing to say about the removal of any president or other public official. Besides, God’s kingdom is separate from the temporal kingdoms of this age. But as members of the Christian faith, we also affirm that everything...

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Look, these are God rocks

By on Feb 3, 2020 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

The conversation went something like this: Look at these stones, my children. These are God rocks. Because, you see, Yahweh God held back the waters of the Jordan River when it was overflowing its banks, and it was time for our people to cross. When the priests bearing the ark dipped into the edge of the water, the waters piled up on either side of them, and our entire nation crossed through on dry ground. And when they got across, Yahweh God told Joshua to select a man from each tribe to take a stone from the middle of the dry riverbed and...

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Midwives of justice

By on Jan 29, 2020 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

One Friday afternoon, five of us met around a table: four representatives of our neighborhood organization and the South Bend, Ind., mayor’s deputy chief of staff. Those of us from the neighborhood had been working together for more than a year to address the issue of lead poisoning. New data had been released 15 months earlier. We learned more than 30 percent of neighborhood children tested over a 10-year period had elevated blood lead levels. Before 1978, American paint companies were allowed to use lead in their paint, though European...

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What if we never tried to set up a church?

By on Jan 27, 2020 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

I had a call from Santiago, Bolivia, a couple of evenings ago. We talked about current politics in Bolivia, after the tumultuous public upheaval following the October presidential elections. Evo Morales, the former president who, one way or another could have prevented the mess, is now in exile in Argentina. His party will run again in the next election, the date for which has not been set, but most likely April, May or June. We also talked about Quakers, though I can’t remember what got us there. Wikipedia says 8 percent of the world’s...

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An evaluation of the Anabaptist doctrine of nonconformity

By on Jan 22, 2020 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

There’s a weird Anabaptist doctrine I don’t think many millennials understand. It might be one of the biggest obstacles for new believers, and the final straw for those who choose to leave. This doctrine determines, perhaps more than anything else, how we relate with society at large, the clothes we wear, what we do for entertainment, the music we listen to, what kind of jobs we choose, and even the friends we allow into our lives. Nonconformity. Separation from the world. What every conservative Anabaptist feels at some point in their...

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