Gelassenheit: A spiritual journey

Jun 23, 2017 by

My brother-in-law recently showed some footage of a family gathering in Switzerland many years ago. In the video, I was on a reclining lawn chair, trying to be oblivious to what was going on around me. My two...

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Where did we get vacation Bible school?

Jun 22, 2017 by

If your church is anything like mine, it’s currently hosting hundreds of children for vacation Bible school: a week-long program of Bible stories, worship, missions projects, crafts and games. And if...

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Binding and blinding

Jun 21, 2017 by

Back in February, I remarked that Jonathan Haidt’s The Righteous Mind should be required reading for all who spend time on social media, particularly those who like to go to war over ideas. I said that this...

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Unseen logic

Jun 20, 2017 by

Several years ago, my life group decided to each pick a one-word theme for our year instead of a list of New Year’s resolutions. Never having been someone to make New Year’s resolutions, I liked the...

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Is a God who loves enough?

Jun 19, 2017 by

“I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians...

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Living into the Sabbath

Jun 16, 2017 by

In her book Jewish Days: A Book of Jewish Life and Culture, Francine Klagsbrun introduces us to the wonder of the Sabbath day. She calls it a miracle because no such day existed until it appeared full-blown in...

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Our ‘I come to the garden alone’ theology

Jun 15, 2017 by

The past century has seen a rise in popular gospel songs like “In the Garden,” sometimes known by its first line, “I Come to the Garden Alone.” Written in 1912 by C. Austin Miles, it...

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‘Thy will be done’

Jun 12, 2017 by

This simple statement yet difficult mission was the life and the food of our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. I am firmly grounded in this truth believing that this, as it was for Jesus, is our faith through...

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Sometimes tangled, always interconnected

Jun 8, 2017 by

I know a pastor who calls herself a “web walker.” She sees all of life as this infinite web of invisible threads and energies. Her calling, as she sees it, is to tend to a particular and yet important part...

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Caring for creation, and all people

Jun 6, 2017 by

After President Trump announced he would pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord, I looked to the Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective for guidance. “As stewards of God’s earth,”...

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Great Again

Jun 5, 2017 by

This past week I have been in Atlanta, Ga. The Forum for Theological Exploration is hosting its annual Christian Leadership Forum. I wasn’t looking forward to another week of meetings but then last night...

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The curious case of Kitchener-Waterloo

Jun 2, 2017 by

As I have mentioned before, I live on the outskirts of one of the largest Mennonite enclaves in Canada. I grew up there. I visit regularly as a lot of my family still lives there. And when I head to a...

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True or false? ‘If you’ve had an easy life, don’t try to help’

Jun 1, 2017 by

“A 20-some kid barely out of seminary shouldn’t presume to counsel a father dealing with his son’s fatal car crash.” “A happily married woman with well-behaved kids and a successful job has no clue...

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The people we admire

May 30, 2017 by

I was in Germany last week visiting friends and celebrating my brother’s completion of his PhD. I consequently spent a lot of time on trains and planes and had ample time for looking out of windows and...

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Jesus is ascended, not absent

May 25, 2017 by

Ascension Day. It’s the most obscure of all the major holy days on the Christian calendar. Coming 40 days after Easter, it commemorates the Ascension of Christ. The Christian calendar is designed to tell the...

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Are we practical atheists?

May 24, 2017 by

There are people who say they don’t believe in God. In our own moments of faith and confidence, we look at them wonderingly and think they must be crazy deluded, or else they’re lying to us. Because God is...

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How to pray for your enemies

May 23, 2017 by

What does it mean to pray for our enemies? For the terrorist taking many lives in response to other grave wrongs, for the known or unknown assailant afflicting apparently senseless violence, for the thief who...

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Do you want to be made whole?

May 22, 2017 by

There are reasons why we are not whole. Sometimes the fault is not our own; sometimes our un-wholeness is a result of the choices of others. Sometimes we are dealt illness that cannot be cured; we are captive...

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No, Christian pacifists are not cowards

May 18, 2017 by

I am a follower of Jesus of Nazareth, which naturally means I am a Christian pacifist. I refuse to use violence against my enemies or intentionally harm them in any way, even if they harm me. I will love my...

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How did political progressives think they were Anabaptists?

May 15, 2017 by

Let me tell you the story about how many politically progressive Christians came to think they were Anabaptists. (I’m mainly talking about post-evangelical progressives rather than traditional mainline...

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How good is too good?

May 10, 2017 by

Have you ever had the nagging feeling that you’ve forgotten something extremely important? What about that sinking or jolting feeling when you miss a step and your foot hits air? Imagine this feeling was...

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Mass starvation — does anyone give a … ?

May 9, 2017 by

“I have three things I’d like to say today,” said American author Tony Campolo to a crowd at the 1982 interdenominational Spring Harvest church conference in England. “First, while you...

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Why do we abuse women?

May 8, 2017 by

Mary Magdalene has become one of my favorite New Testament figures. She is also one of the most misused and abused, a fitting symbol for women throughout the ages who are still misused, abused and blamed. Mary...

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An open letter about endless war and North Korea

May 5, 2017 by

In 2015, Mennonite Church USA adopted the “Faithful Witness Amid Endless War” resolution. It described the United States’ engagement in “boundless and endless war.” Ever since the tragic events of...

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The paradox of progressive political theology

May 4, 2017 by

I’d like to try to point out, as a progressive Christian, something that has been bothering me about progressive Christian political theology — a paradox, tension and inconsistency that keeps popping...

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