Book review: Beating Guns

Jul 8, 2019 by

What do you get when you cross a Mennonite pastor with a blacksmith? Someone who forges weapons into plowshares! But this is no joke. A new movement is afoot in the United States to turn guns into garden...

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Book Review: Flee, Be Silent, Pray

Jun 24, 2019 by

Twenty years ago, Ed Cyzewski left his Roman Catholic faith to become an evangelical. This led him to a hard-driving way of faith that required doing good things for God but left him stressed and anxious. Then...

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Book review: Captive

Jun 10, 2019 by

Captive is a coming-of-age novel about friendship and self-discovery in the context of war, pacifism and the little-known story of German prisoners of war in the United States during World War II. About...

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Book review: The God Who Sees

May 27, 2019 by

This winter, as I read Karen González’s excellent new book on immigration, troubling news continued to unfold about events at the United States’ southern border. Governmental policy, fueled by xenophobic...

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Book review: Fire by Night

May 13, 2019 by

When I started reading Fire by Night, I expected the usual Old Testament topics: gore, war and law, with the author’s new insights. Or, might it be a book-by-book review from an Anabaptist perspective....

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Book review: ‘German Language: Cradle of our Heritage’

Apr 29, 2019 by

How is it that Old Order Amish and some Old Order Mennonites remain bilingual more than 10 generations after their arrival in North America? Most immigrants give up their native tongue after the third...

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Book review: ‘Daddy Hold’

Apr 15, 2019 by

In 1999, the David and Debbie Landis family of Green Lane, Pa., pulled up stakes, leaving a thriving small business as well as loving relatives and friends, to settle some 1,000 miles southwest in Atmore, Ala....

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Book review: ‘Women Talking’

Apr 1, 2019 by

At first blush, the plot and setting of Miriam Toews’ new novel, Women Talking, might appear too limited in scope to be compelling. The book’s primary action takes place over the span of two days, as eight...

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Book review: ‘Gathering of Sisters’

Mar 18, 2019 by

Tuesdays. Not a standout on most calendars. But for Darla Weaver and her four sisters, her mother and 18 nieces and nephews, Tuesday is the pivot on which the week turns. It’s the day they leave behind the...

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Book review: The new gods of technology

Mar 4, 2019 by

It’s staggering to think how human communication technologies have changed from the time of the telegraph to the internet. What’s more staggering is to consider how things will change over the next 150...

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Book review: Spiritual cousins not so distant

Feb 18, 2019 by

For many Mennonites, the Brethren in Christ are distant spiritual cousins. The BIC, while firmly Anabaptist, have also drawn deeply from the wells of pietism and Wesley­anism, which has created some...

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Book review: ‘Flight: Mennonites facing the Soviet Empire in 1929-30’

Feb 4, 2019 by

We live in an era of human flight and displacement. The United Nations Refugee Agency says there are more than 68 million refu­gees throughout the world. A top political issue in North America and Europe is...

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Book review: ‘From James Joyce to Organic Farming’

Jan 21, 2019 by

Maynard Kaufman is a South Dakota farm boy, a Joycian scholar and post-Christian theologian, a multidisciplinary professor in religious and environmental studies, an organic farmer, a communitarian and...

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Book review: ‘The Four Gifts’

Jan 7, 2019 by

The Four Gifts by April Yamasaki evokes for me Jesus’ search for solitude after his work of healing among the crowds. It seems that some of the most oft-told stories of Jesus are of his crossing the sea to...

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Book review: ‘Surviving Failure’

Dec 17, 2018 by

Forty years ago, Merle and Phyllis Pellman Good already were among the highest-profile entrepreneurs in the Mennonite church. Their Good Enterprises, based in Intercourse, Pa., included book publishing,...

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Book review: ‘The Great Reckoning’

Dec 3, 2018 by

In October, the longtime evangelical leader Pat Rob­ertson weighed in on the murder of journalist Jamal Kashoggi in a Saudi consulate. According to Robertson, the United States needed to tread lightly with...

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Book review: ‘Love Undocumented’

Nov 19, 2018 by

Immigration has shaped nearly every epoch of U.S. history. Americans are a nation of people who have left one place in order to arrive in a new world. With the rise of the Trump administration, however, the...

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Book review: ‘The Pastor Wears a Skirt’

Nov 5, 2018 by

Contemporary memoir, unlike autobiography, is selective in its sharing of life experiences for a defined purpose: to represent a voice, often that of a woman, not heard before — from Maya Angelou’s...

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Book review: Warriors who renounced war

Oct 22, 2018 by

Three decades ago, Julie Putnam Hart sat in a peace lecture opposing the Stra­tegic Defense Initiative, commonly known as Star Wars. Intrigued by the presenter’s journey, she wanted to understand how a...

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Book review: The Book of books isn’t boring

Oct 8, 2018 by

I have a nasty suspicion that a comprehensive review of the Bible will either be: a) too long, complicated and detailed; or b) too general to be helpful. Was I ever wrong about Meghan Larissa Good’s book!...

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Book review: ‘Believe Me’

Sep 24, 2018 by

Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 U.S. presidential election surprised almost everyone. How did it happen? Evangelical Christians had a lot to do with it. In Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald...

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Book review: ‘A Midwife in Amish Country’

Sep 17, 2018 by

In her excellent 2013 study of the Amish romance, Thrill of the Chaste, Valerie Weaver-Zercher decisively argues that books about the Amish are predominantly written for an evangelical Christian audience. The...

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Book review: ‘Education with the Grain of the Universe’

Aug 27, 2018 by

Over the past several decades, one remarkable initiative in Mennonite higher education has been in the new academic field of peace and conflict studies. Mennonite schools across North America — from Fresno...

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Book review: ‘Mystics and Misfits’

Aug 13, 2018 by

About eight years ago, Christiana Peterson, her husband and daughter moved from urban Washington, D.C., to an intentional Christian community in rural north-central Illinois. Their motives were many:...

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Book review: ‘Plantation Jesus’

Jul 30, 2018 by

Another book on racism? Haven’t we moved beyond that topic yet? Isn’t it time for all of us to get over it? It is precisely these responses to racism that prompted Skot Welch, Rick Wilson and Andi...

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