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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Yoder-Short: Boasting of inferiority

Sep 25, 2017 by

“If you’d have known his grandma’s family, you’d understand his actions.” The conversation was making me uncomfortable. Then it happens again. A different family is assessed: “Stubbornness shows up...

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Showalter: The evangelists we need

Sep 25, 2017 by

In my young adulthood, evangelists were preachers who publicly called people to commitment to Christ. “If you are ready to invite Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, raise your hand.” Or stand to your feet....

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Kehrberg: Eden’s flaws a perfect model

Sep 25, 2017 by

This earth is the garden of our Lord, and he walks in his garden in the cool of the day. — Jean Ritchie, “Now Is the Cool of the Day” In a late-night chat with my daughters, we hit on the topic of sin,...

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Powell: Wake the living dead

Sep 25, 2017 by

The white supremacists’ shout of “You will not replace us” in Charlottesville, Va., has been heard around the world. Alt-right and white hate groups have been emboldened by the president’s words and...

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Kraybill: Confronting a narcissistic ruler

Sep 11, 2017 by

The moral character of a ruler can reach such low ebb that prophets arise to name and condemn the scoundrel’s behavior, even if the ruler strikes back. In totalitarian states, immoral rulers imprison or...

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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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Bible: High-stakes Sabbath

Sep 11, 2017 by

At my ordination interview, I didn’t give the best answer when the committee asked me about my practices of self-care. “One day each week I take a sabbath rest,” I said brightly. And then for good...

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Kriss: Our sighs and our work are our prayers

Sep 11, 2017 by

Houston Mennonite Church Pastor Marty Troyer told me on Aug. 31, “I’ve sighed a lot in these past few days,” referring to the Spirit’s pleading on our behalf through sighs and groans as outlined in the...

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Kennel-Shank: Examine motivations

Sep 11, 2017 by

It all began with a squash plant, a Pennsylvania Dutch crookneck, to be exact. Like all winter squash, it needs room to grow and many weeks to mature. Too late, I realized I had only ever grown winter squash...

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Longhurst: Overdue dictionary

Sep 11, 2017 by

He was known as southern Africa’s Billy Graham. His name was Nicholas Bhengu, and he was an evangelist with the Assemblies of God in South Africa from the 1940s until his death in 1985. During his ministry,...

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King: The sand fight

Aug 28, 2017 by

One cousin was already at the beach. When the other topped the dune and they spied one another, both galloped across sand and their different ages, 3 and nearly 5, arms outstretched. It was a thrill to watch,...

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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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Washington Witness: War without end?

Aug 28, 2017 by

When her amendment sailed through the House Appropriations Committee last month, even Rep. Barbara Lee, a California Democrat, was surprised. For more than a decade, she has been trying unsuccessfully to get...

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Bible: A covenant of moral fruitfulness

Aug 28, 2017 by

Once I interviewed a Pentecostal pastor for a seminary project. He was famous locally for his prison ministry and outreach — as well as for his six-shooter-wearing swagger. In the course of the interview, he...

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History: White supremacist’s racist ‘faith’

Aug 28, 2017 by

More than 5,200 miles separate Charlottesville, Va., from the now-disappeared Russian Mennonite col­ony of Molotschna. But according to the geography of racial and ethnic hatred, they’re located virtually...

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Bible: Breaking a thousand-year tradition

Aug 14, 2017 by

I’m thinking of a fable where a wolf is accepted into lamb society. As Aesop tells it, the wolf in sheep’s clothing is a fraud. But Saul’s transformation is real. The sheep hunter becomes a sheep. Think...

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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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Showalter: What makes a convert?

Aug 14, 2017 by

Why do evangelicals become Anabaptists? Why do Anabaptists become Orthodox or Catholic? Why do Orthodox or Catholics become evangelicals? Why do young people leave “the church,” of whatever variety? What...

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Powell: Passing the torch to a new set of midwives

Aug 14, 2017 by

After the election of President Obama in 2008, civil rights leader and Mennonite theologian Vincent Harding used the image of midwifery to describe an emerging America. A midwife encourages the mother and...

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Yoder-Short: A decluttered church

Aug 14, 2017 by

A freeing feeling results when we donate unneeded clutter to the local rummage sale. Old books go, making room for new ones. Useless kitchen gadgets leave, creating room for useful basics. Uncomfortable shoes...

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Kehrberg: Hospitality more than a clean house

Aug 14, 2017 by

Having people over. Getting together. Fellowshipping around the table. Regardless of the phrase you use, hospitality is a difficult thing. It involves time, effort and vulnerability. The statistical data and...

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Kriss: Shaky present, bright future

Jul 31, 2017 by

I hadn’t been a delegate at a Mennonite Church USA convention since San Jose a decade ago. It wasn’t a positive experience then and, to be honest, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to the renewed...

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Kraybill: Letting the other guy win

Jul 31, 2017 by

With wars festering in many countries, and continuing conflict over land in the West Bank, I pray for political leaders who have the reconciling spirit of Abraham. Shortly after returning to Canaan from Egypt,...

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Miller: Back after 26 years

Jul 31, 2017 by

I was a delegate to the Mennonite Church USA convention in Orlando, Fla., July 4-8. I last attended a denominational convention in 1991, when the Mennonite Church gathered at the University of Oregon. Much has...

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