Book review: ‘Harold and Arlene: Ministers to Many’

May 21, 2018 by

A new and inspiring biography tells the story of a pastoral couple with a deep love for God and the Mennonite Church. With lives spanning most of the 20th century, Harold and Arlene Eshleman navigated a time...

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Book review: ‘Soul Tending’

May 7, 2018 by

Do you remember a time when every Sunday started with three hours of church followed by a long meal, often roast beef and root vegetables that roasted in the oven while we sat in the pews? Perhaps the meal was...

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Book review: ‘EMU: A Century of Countercultural Education’

Apr 23, 2018 by

Like all religious groups, Mennonites have always wrestled with how to maintain basic group beliefs and practices while still inhabiting a particular cultural context. In Christian parlance, they’ve...

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Book review: ‘Fledge’

Apr 9, 2018 by

When my children were very young, there was all manner of reading material at my fingertips, ready to tell me exactly how I might raise perfect kids. I could read books on attachment and potty training, blogs...

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Book review: ‘Shalom Sistas’

Mar 26, 2018 by

Those who have mucked out a house after a flood know how painstaking and messy the process becomes. Worse yet is when the disaster drives you from your home as a refugee, carting away pieces of your old life...

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Book review: ‘Living on the Edge of the Edge’

Mar 12, 2018 by

The cover of Living on the Edge of the Edge: Letters to a Younger Colleague shows a dramatic photograph with a deep and beautiful canyon in the background. In the foreground is a cairn mounted on the upper...

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Book review: ‘Saving Germany’

Feb 26, 2018 by

Saving Germany: North American Protestants and Christian Mission to West Germany, 1945-1974 is a book about North American Protestant efforts to “save” Germany from social and political chaos and spiritual...

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Book review: ‘The Fog of Faith’

Feb 12, 2018 by

In early January, Oprah Winfrey gave an astounding speech at The Golden Globe awards, accepting the Cecil B. DeMille award for lifetime achievement and declaring “a new day is on the horizon” for women who...

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Book review: ‘Cross Vision’

Jan 29, 2018 by

Why does violence happen? How can we make sense of it? How can we prevent it? These questions are by no means particular to Christians. A leading reason people distance themselves from Christianity is it...

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Book review: ‘More Than One Thing is True’

Jan 15, 2018 by

I met Urbane Peachey about 20 years ago. I’d just accepted an invitation to serve as interim pastor for Community Mennonite Church of Lancaster, Pa. He was one of the pastors at Akron Mennonite Church, the...

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Book review: ‘(Re)union’

Jan 1, 2018 by

Bruxy Cavey’s (Re)union: The Good News of Jesus for Seekers, Saints and Sinners gave me a glimpse into mega­church theology attempting to work itself out within Anabaptism. Cavey is the teaching pastor for...

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Book review: ‘The Internationalists’

Dec 18, 2017 by

Mennonite peace activists in the 1930s were a small part of an international peace movement to promote the Kellogg-Briand treaty. That treaty, passed in 1928, had made war illegal. At Buhler High School in...

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Book review: ‘Plain Meetinghouses’

Dec 4, 2017 by

With all the attention given to the way plain Anabaptists live their daily lives, it’s easy to forget that they are, at a fundamental level, a worshiping people. Beth Oberholtzer and John Herr have created...

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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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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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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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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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Book review: ‘Anything But Simple’

Sep 25, 2017 by

On one Christian publisher’s site, Amish romance books are characterized as stories about Christian people following the “simple life.” Other books, offered by other publishers, announce right in the...

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Book review: ‘The Radical Muslim and Mennonite’

Sep 11, 2017 by

During a Muslim-Christian peacemaking meeting in Indonesia in 2003, Mesach Krisetya, president of Mennonite World Conference, made a speech. Seeking to dismantle negative stereotypes of Christians —...

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Book review: ‘A Vietnam Presence’

Aug 28, 2017 by

Beyond the history books, articles, memoirs and novels published about the U.S. war in Vietnam, Luke S. Martin’s A Vietnam Presence stands apart, presenting an entirely new context. Martin takes a forceful...

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Book review: ‘Rebel Mother’

Aug 14, 2017 by

The Mennonite layer of Peter Andreas’ unconventional childhood story is at first glance rather thin. More than anything, Rebel Mother is a story of the 1960s and 1970s, when American culture was impacted by...

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Book review: ‘Re-Envisioning Service’

Jul 31, 2017 by

The greatest success of the Civilian Public Service era is not the effect it had on the church during World War II, as significant as that was. Rather, its crowning achievement was the resulting ethos of...

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Book review: ‘Chosen Nation’

Jul 17, 2017 by

In 1941, as German armies advanced across Europe, C. Henry Smith, a historian at Bluffton College, expressed his dismay at the enthusiastic support many German Mennonites had given to Adolf Hitler and the...

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Book review: ‘What is the Bible?’

Jul 3, 2017 by

I wonder if Rob Bell went to Hesston College. Actually, I know he didn’t, but his new book, What Is the Bible? How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel...

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Book review: ‘Unexpected Invitations’

Jun 19, 2017 by

In Unexpected Invitations, Angela and Erwin Rempel tell of serving together in Mennonite ministries for four decades. From Brazil to Botswa­na and Pennsylvania to Kansas, they heeded God’s calls with a...

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