Showalter: Spirit of the West

Nov 19, 2018 by

Jewel and I celebrated our golden anniversary with a two-month visit to 25 national parks and as many friends west of the Mississippi. We “camped” inside our Odyssey van, cooked our food on an old Coleman...

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Showalter: Ambassador in Russia

Oct 8, 2018 by

Russia is in the Western news often. War in Ukraine, interference with elections, Trump/Putin jockeying, poisoning of an intelligence agent, sanctions. Is a new Cold War emerging? It’s actually an East/West...

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Showalter: New England gospel

Aug 27, 2018 by

Authentic movements to Jesus happen all over the globe. From North America, though, sometimes it seems they’re all “out there” in Africa, Asia or Latin America. Yet the heart of God is for North...

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Showalter: Dynamic, yet insular

Jul 16, 2018 by

The Korean Christian churches are an intriguing phenomenon of the past 100 years. Protestant Christianity arrived in Korea only after 1880, but the Korean church has flourished since then in ways that have...

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Showalter: Visible righteousness

Jun 4, 2018 by

“Baptists are good at getting people converted, but Mennonites are better at making disciples.” It’s a stereotype and, like most, holds a grain of truth. Yet its days are numbered. The whole Western...

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Showalter: Suffer and send: a Garifuna movement

Apr 23, 2018 by

No one knows for sure how the Garifuna got here. Probably they emerged from a shipwrecked slave ship on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent in the 1600s. Or maybe they traveled from Africa as early as the...

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Showalter: God still tends roots

Mar 12, 2018 by

Fran Martin, a Mennonite woman in eastern Pennsylvania, accompanied a friend to India 10 years ago. She was certain she would never return to India. She was wrong. While there, she met a young West Bengali...

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Showalter: Do we miss the heart of the gospel?

Jan 29, 2018 by

“What are the markers of Anabaptism?” asked Nelson Kraybill, president of Mennonite World Conference, to a panel at the annual meeting of the North American Anabaptist mission agencies this winter. It is a...

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Showalter: Searching for identity

Dec 18, 2017 by

The global rise of nationalism, often in the form of populism, is astonishing in its variety and extent. There seems scarcely a nation unaffected. Perhaps a good way to understand it is as a massive human...

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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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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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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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Showalter: Christianity amid the new nationalisms

Jul 3, 2017 by

Around the globe, nationalism is resurgent to a level not seen since World War II. There are many examples: Brexit in Britain, Narendra Modi in India, Xi Jinping in China, Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines,...

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Showalter: Tanzanians’ audacious goal

May 22, 2017 by

It is exciting to witness how Anabaptist churches of the Global South are pursuing their goals. Tanzanian Mennonites may be the most ambitious of all. The Tanzanian Mennonite Church — in Swahili, Kanisa la...

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Showalter: Want renewal? Pray

Apr 10, 2017 by

In the 1640s, a few English nonconformists and Puritans who had migrated to the New World began to share the gospel with Native Americans around them. In 1646, Pastor John Eliot began to lead his Indian...

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Showalter: Disciples rich and poor

Feb 27, 2017 by

“Can you find me a sponsor?” As I travel in the global church, few questions are harder for me to answer than this — or others like it. I’m happier to tackle the theological or organizational questions...

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Showalter: Political groupthink

Jan 16, 2017 by

Christians around the globe followed the U.S. election with as much interest as did citizens of the United States. Election Day found me in an international meeting in Germany. I went to bed long before the...

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Showalter: Stover Kulp, Anabaptist

Dec 5, 2016 by

I love watching God surprise me. Recently I was asked to respond to a scholarly paper in an Asian conference. Written and presented by a Nigerian, the paper explored the history of the Kanuri people of West...

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Showalter: Thailand testimonies

Oct 24, 2016 by

Thailand has Anabaptist Christians of many stripes. In Western terms, there are churches related to Mennonite Brethren, Brethren in Christ, Mennonite Church Canada, Lancaster Conference, Virginia Conference,...

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Showalter: How to give

Sep 12, 2016 by

When he said goodbye to the Ephesian elders at Miletus (Acts 20:35), Paul’s last words were, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” He quoted Jesus. Questions about how to give dominate...

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Full-time out-of-date?

Aug 1, 2016 by

Christians in North America used to speak frequently and with great respect about those who “went into full-time service.” Evangelists gave public invitations calling for such commitment. Going into...

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These don’t disappear

Jun 20, 2016 by

The global church is a dizzying phenomenon. Linking it is the marvel of jet transportation and social media. Relationships blossom everywhere in unexpected places. In 2007, Fran Martin, a middle-aged American...

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Always an outsider

May 9, 2016 by

What happens when a North American of a different subculture joins a “traditional Mennonite” congregation whose immigrant ancestors were already Anabaptist when they first arrived from Germany, Switzerland...

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Middle East first fruits

Mar 28, 2016 by

A man I’ll call Hikmet died of cancer last week, a loss grieved by fellow believers in Jesus across his nation. He was one of the first four people who were baptized in a little-publicized Mennonite mission...

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The unity Jesus meant

Feb 15, 2016 by

Few scriptures have been so frequently quoted in recent years by North American Anabaptists as the prayer of Jesus “that they may all be one” (John 17:21). Especially in times of severe disagreement, we...

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