Book review: Collateral Damage

Jun 29, 2020 by

Here is a dilemma for a church group. Do you post a “Gun-Free Zone” sign on the entrance knowing it could either make your church more safe or less safe? In the first instance, the absence of weapons...

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Book review: I Am Not Your Enemy

Jun 15, 2020 by

I finished reading Michael McRay’s book just as deep fissures were developing in the United States about whether stay-at-home orders were an appropriate measure to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 or whether...

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Book review: American Harvest

Jun 1, 2020 by

“Certain conditions yield certain things.” In the setting of the Great Plains, an owner of a custom harvest crew offers this axiom in answer to writer Marie Mutsuki Mockett’s question about differences...

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Book review: Seditions, Confusion and Tumult

May 18, 2020 by

The question left Layton Boyd Friesen befuddled: Why were the 16th-century Anabaptists so reviled and persecuted? The answer Friesen had learned — that they lived in an age when people ­didn’t tolerate...

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Book review: Signs of Life

May 4, 2020 by

Each day can carry with it reminders of what we have lost. As time passes, we lose our youth, shedding as well some of the dreams and ambitions we once cherished. We may lose a sense of invincibility,...

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Book review: Yoder School

Apr 20, 2020 by

Frankly, I was a bit leery of taking up a country school hardship story, given that I have both lived that reality and read about it often. But happily, Yoder School is not centrally about the three-room...

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Book review: An Unlikely Trio

Apr 6, 2020 by

George J. Lapp (1879-1951) was one of those Mennonite pioneers who emerged at the turn of the 19th century and made a contribution to multiple fields throughout his life. Missions, higher education and...

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Book review: Service: The Path to Justice

Mar 23, 2020 by

A friend asked when justice became a conspicuous topic for the worldwide church. I suggested the crises of the 20th century inspired an almost constant inquiry about justice. This occurred first in the global...

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Book review: All That Belongs

Mar 9, 2020 by

Catherine has spent her professional lifetime preserving the histories of others. As an archivist, she gathers the ephemera of people’s lives, bringing order to the sometimes mysterious, sometimes disordered...

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Book review: Hope’s Table

Feb 24, 2020 by

Providing food for oneself and family is a daily chore. Should you decide to complete this chore by actually cooking something, your resources are legion. Traditionally, one would reach for a cookbook or maybe...

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Book review: Liminal Sovereignty

Feb 10, 2020 by

This study of two minority religious communities in northern Mexico — Old Colony Mennonites and Mormon colonists — focuses on the accommodation of these groups by Mexican governmental officials and their...

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Book review: Raising Disciples

Jan 27, 2020 by

Natalie Frisk and I have something in common: Our earliest memories of Sunday school include damp, musty church basements. Many assumed these places were where we kids learned about God. But, lucky for both of...

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Book review: Terror, Faith and Relief

Jan 13, 2020 by

The late Mennonite Breth­ren writer Katie Funk Wiebe, who died in 2016, was passionate about translating Die Hungersnot in Russland und Unsere Reise um die Welt (The Famine in Russia and Our Trip Around the...

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Book review: Bowery Mission

Dec 23, 2019 by

When Pastor Jason Storbakken began planning his sermon for Manhattan Mennonite Fellowship’s commemoration of Native American Day (Columbus Day), he didn’t know it would be the second sermon he would preach...

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Book review: Addiction Nation

Dec 9, 2019 by

Does America have a problem with pain? Specifically, do we have a problem with coping with pain? Perhaps with managing pain? And if so, does this problem lie at the very root of our widespread addictions? This...

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Book review: Speaking of God

Nov 27, 2019 by

Speaking of God is the task of all Christians. A lot has been said, and the story of this conversation is not a simple one. But Anthony G. Siegrist has done it well. In Speaking of God: An Essential...

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Book review: Light from Distant Stars

Nov 13, 2019 by

Probably because I teach English at a Christian university, I get wrangled into conversations about what defines Christian literature. Does the content need to be explicitly Christian? Can a work be Christian...

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Book review: On the Banks of Jacobs Creek

Oct 28, 2019 by

For more than a century, Scottdale was known for the printed word. The southwestern Pennsylvania city was the location of the (Old) Mennonite Church’s Mennonite Publishing House, which produced books,...

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Book review: Finding Father

Oct 14, 2019 by

The essays in Finding Father are both tender and troubled. Some are loving, elegiac tributes to men who nurtured their daughters. Others seem almost confused: “How do I love a man I don’t really...

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Book review: Mennonite daughter

Sep 30, 2019 by

Mennonite daughters through the years have lived very different lives depending on where their ancestors came from. Regardless of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, whether urban or rural, rich or poor, old or...

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Book review: Crash Landing

Sep 16, 2019 by

In the summer of 2014, Liz Jansen set out on a solo cross-country motorcycle trip, hoping to trace her ancestors’ migration across Canada nearly a century earlier. But a serious accident cut her journey...

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Book review: Nature and the Environment in Amish Life

Sep 2, 2019 by

Even before climate change emerged as an existential threat, the Amish were lauded for their environmentally friendly, off-the-grid lifestyle. Horse-drawn transportation, huge vegetable gardens, emphasis on...

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Book review: Without a Plea

Aug 19, 2019 by

Jeff Gundy’s new book of  poems is described on the cover as “sprawling,” “ambitious,” “probing and expansive.” I would add “roving and restless,” as Gundy ranges over a myriad of...

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Book review: From Risk to Resilience

Aug 5, 2019 by

Growing up as a girl in the 1980s was not a positive experience for me. I often felt ostracized because I didn’t fit cultural expectations for what it meant to be female. I hated dresses and dressing up. My...

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Book review: Unraptured

Jul 22, 2019 by

The first thing you notice when you pick up Unraptured: How End Times Theology Gets It Wrong, is that Rachel Held Evans wrote the foreword. Her recent death, and the hole that leaves in the Christian...

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