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.

The paradox of progressive political theology

By on May 4, 2017 in The World Together | 10 comments

The World Together Blog

I’d like to try to point out, as a progressive Christian, something that has been bothering me about progressive Christian political theology — a paradox, tension and inconsistency that keeps popping up. The tension/paradox is easily stated. Rhetorically, the political theology many progressive Christians espouse is Anabaptist. The rhetoric is anti-empire. Jesus is Lord, Caesar is not. But in practice, the political theology of many progressive Christians is Niebuhrian. That is, Christians must take and use the power of the state to...

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The cults of Caesar and Christ

By on May 3, 2017 in The World Together | 2 comments

The World Together Blog

The original name for what would eventually became known as Christianity was “the Way.” You won’t find “Christianity” in the Bible, but you will find “the Way” seven times in the book of Acts. If you had asked a baptized follower of Jesus during the first century, “What is your religion?,” she most likely would have replied, “I belong to the Way.” This is what the Apostle Paul said in his hearing before the Roman governor Felix: “I admit that I follow the Way, which they call a cult” (Acts 24:14). The common life of...

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Forgiveness shows the light of Christ in Egypt

By on May 2, 2017 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

The Middle East has experienced much darkness during the last years. But a light is drawing attention. Christians make up between 15-20 percent of the population of Egypt; most are members of the ancient Coptic church. The nation’s leaders talk about all citizens being part of one family, but reality has been otherwise. Muslim demands are often appeased at the Christian minority’s expense. How should the church respond? Surely they should call for fairness and justice. However, efforts by young Coptic Christians to demonstrate for equal...

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‘Something like the grace of God’

By on May 1, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

Whenever I drive through the reserve, I’m always struck by how little seems to have changed over the past 30 years. I remember coming to play hockey here as a kid, remember how it seemed like a different world to me. And it kind of was — and still is, at least taken at face value. The windswept barren prairies in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, the haphazard housing, the run-down buildings that dot the the side of the road as we enter and leave the tiny town, the signs of poverty and chaos, the ominous billboard as you enter warning of...

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Love your neighbor; plant seeds

By on Apr 27, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

Like many churchgoers, I grew up with a steady diet of sermons about the parables of Jesus — stories about things like lost sheep, coins and sons; Good Samaritans and unforgiving servants; mustard seeds and persistent widows. From them, I learned many important life lessons: Be kind, be generous, be compassionate. All good lessons, to be sure. But as my friend Gordon King reminds me in his new book, Seed Falling on Good Soil: Rooting Our Lives in the Parables of Jesus (Wipf and Stock), the parables are so much more. For King, a Resource...

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Honoring God with environmental justice

By on Apr 26, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

If you look at Mennonite Church USA’s “What We Believe” section on its website, you will see these two priorities: stewardship and undoing racism. I believe that these two principles translate across all Anabaptist congregations and conferences, but are dearly important for the Mennonite faith. Yet, at times I question — are they practiced? I wish I could say yes definitively, but as of late I have realized that is not true. No one at Eastern Mennonite University was talking about the clashes between police and Native American-led...

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Remembering the Holocaust

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

The World Together Blog

On a recent trip to Minnesota, I happened to stumble upon a second-hand toy and collectible store among the small shops in downtown Albert Lea. Upon entering the store, I was stunned by the amount of toys and dolls of all kinds piled high in every possible square inch of the shop, leaving a narrow walkway for customers to wind their way through to the end. I have never seen so many Barbies, Raggedy Anns, Madame Alexanders and other kinds of dolls amassed from floor to ceiling anywhere else. At least not in a thrift store. What came to my mind...

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Ready to repent

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

The World Together Blog

I am amazed at God’s faithfulness to his people as seen in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. Three remnants travel from Babylon to the Promised Land. The people go back with the goal of rebuilding their land and their cities. I do not think they realized they were also going back to rebuild their relationship with God. For hundreds of years previous, judges and prophets had called the people to repentance. By the end of the book of Nehemiah, the people come to their leaders and say, “We have sinned.” There are still 400 years between...

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4 ways Christians can love the soil on Earth Day

By on Apr 20, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

Earth Day is a great time for Christians to show our love for God’s green earth. Of course, the challenge of loving the earth is knowing which part of the earth to love. There’s so much of it, after all — from continents to calla lilies to cyanobacteria. And while all of it is God’s earth and thus worthy of our care and affection, the asthenosphere doesn’t give me the same kind of warm fuzzies as, say, panda cubs. So rather than try to wrap our hearts around love for the earth in general, this Earth Day why not start with love for...

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God’s voice, Scripture’s inspiration

By on Apr 17, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

After writing my series on hearing God’s voice, I got some pushback from readers who thought that I was undermining the importance of Scripture. In the series, I describe God’s voice as something that comes to us in a variety of ways, as modeled for us in Scripture. I was a bit puzzled by the reactions stating that the Holy Spirit speaking to our hearts is purely subjective and something to be treated with suspicion. I wrote a couple paragraphs in response a few times, but never felt right about publishing it. For one thing, I keenly feel...

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