Book review: ‘Two Weeks Every Summer’

Nov 20, 2017 by

Now and then a person comes upon a book that is hard to read precisely because it disturbs the comfort zones of his or her thinking. And yet while entering into the first few pages, a small voice says: You...

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Bible: Eyes open to wonders

Nov 20, 2017 by

Acts 3:11-21 picks up after a miraculous occurrence: Peter and John pass a beggar, lame from birth, as they go to the temple to pray. He asks them for money, and “Peter looked intently at him, as did John”...

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Watson: False god of guns

Nov 20, 2017 by

I always worried about the day a mass shooting happened in a church. As a seminary student, immersed full-time in applying Jesus’ teachings to the modern world, I knew the church could not escape it for very...

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Washington Witness: Hope disrupting hostility

Nov 20, 2017 by

For years, a wall of isolation between the United States and North Korea has been steadily building. The Korean War never officially ended, and it has been followed by decades of economic sanctions and frozen...

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King: 18.6 gallons

Nov 20, 2017 by

When the vertigo hits, I fear it may be a stroke like the one that traumatized an uncle. I break the airport security I’ve just cleared. The doctor cheerfully says it’s just BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal...

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History: Alternative history — what if?

Nov 20, 2017 by

What if? It’s one of the great history games, speculating on alternative outcomes if events had happened differently. What if Abraham Lincoln had decided not to go to the theater on April 14, 1865? What if...

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Bible: Yes, worship does something

Nov 6, 2017 by

Afriend once waxed poetic about the peace he experienced when receiving the communion wafer in the Cath­olic mass. Since I had been reared on a diet of just-a-symbol cracker breads and grape juice cuplets, I...

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Book review: ‘When the English Fall’

Nov 6, 2017 by

Iwill not soon forget an image David Williams creates in the opening chapters of his excellent novel, When the English Fall. The image is searing in its horror and in what it portends. Some kind of solar storm...

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Kehrberg: Social media depression

Nov 6, 2017 by

There’s a new study out. In a nutshell: Smartphones are making this generation depressed. For the first time, the teen suicide rate was higher than the teen homicide rate in 2011. Or as the study’s author,...

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Yoder-Short: Too much bloodshed

Nov 6, 2017 by

Woe is me, that I am an alien in Meshech, that I must live among the tents of Kedar. Too long have I had my dwelling among those who hate peace. I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war. — Psalm...

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Showalter: Helping, not hurting

Nov 6, 2017 by

This autumn I was invited to a remarkable meeting. Two African and two Asian mission leaders met with the mission committee of a North American Mennonite congregation. I had never witnessed a meeting quite...

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Powell: The power of kneeling

Oct 30, 2017 by

Americans and Anabaptists, we have a problem. It’s a race problem. We’ve begun to have a conversation about racial injustice and the killing of black folks. But the issue keeps changing. Recently the...

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Miller: What can I do?

Oct 23, 2017 by

“What can I do to help?” peo­ple ask after natural disasters. The question became more pertinent for me after dodging Hurricane Irma as it made its way toward Sarasota, Fla., where I live. Thankfully, the...

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Kraybill: Taking a knee for Jesus

Oct 23, 2017 by

American football players protesting racism recently took a knee instead of standing at attention during performances of the U.S. national anthem, triggering a Twitter storm from the president and a cloudburst...

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Longhurst: The end of ‘Sola Scriptura’?

Oct 23, 2017 by

Here in Canada, as in the United States, one of the biggest issues dividing the church is homosexuality. Churches are leaving Mennonite Church Canada over it. In British Columbia, I was told that as many as a...

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Bible: Channeling the zeal of Phinehas

Oct 23, 2017 by

There may be nothing more unsettling to the (post)­mod­ern mind than zeal. Faith’s OK, many suppose, so long as it’s small and well-behaved, trotted out on a short leash at the odd moments — like birth...

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Book review: ‘Recollections of a Sectarian Realist’

Oct 23, 2017 by

College president, relief administrator and theologian J. Lawrence Burkholder died in Goshen, Ind., in 2010 at age 93. Shortly afterward, his daughter Myrna began editing oral interviews that historian Arnold...

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Kriss: A falling tower

Oct 23, 2017 by

We came to the party late. Mennonite Church USA created a national denominational superstructure just in time for the whole idea to crumble in Protestant circles. I still remember my hopeful response as we...

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Bible: No faith without struggle

Oct 9, 2017 by

When we visit family in Lima, Peru, that cement city hustling under a concrete sky, we’re always a little taken aback by the traffic. Though our surprise could be chalked up to country-mouse sensibilities,...

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Book review: ‘God’s Country’

Oct 9, 2017 by

Does God love the rural church? Does God love the rural communities that the rural church is rooted in? Do we love the rural church and its communities? Not the church as it once was or someday might be. Not...

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History: Catalyst of Anabaptist ideas

Oct 9, 2017 by

Five hundred years ago, on Oct. 31, 1517, German monk and theology professor Martin Luther challenged the Roman Catholic Church by nailing his 95 theses to a church door in Wittenberg. This simple act ...

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Watson: Drive it yourself

Oct 9, 2017 by

It’s time to talk about self-driving cars. Many technological innovations — Amazon Echo, an iPhone without headphone port, the social media app Sarahah — catch us by surprise. But self-driving cars have...

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U.N. Witness: Not by power

Oct 9, 2017 by

Here on the 10th floor of the Church Center for the United Nations building, a handful of Mennonite Central Committee staff and volunteers seek to be an Anabaptist voice to the nations of the world. Not long...

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Andres: Terrible and beautiful

Oct 9, 2017 by

Netflix has released First They Killed My Father, based on the experience of Loung Ung, who as a child survived the Pol Pot regime during the Khmer Rouge years in Cambodia. It is a compelling story of...

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Bible: Abraham’s stardust children

Sep 25, 2017 by

It would have been a strange thing to do, cutting all those animals in half, if God hadn’t told Abram to do it. But that’s how it goes. Covenants aren’t made in Hebrew, they’re cut (Gen. 15:18; Jer....

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