I am the weaker brother

Oct 1, 2018 by

When we believe we are right about something, how do we behave? How do we treat those with whom we disagree? I’m not talking about issues of sin, but what of disputable matters — issues that are not very...

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Who is Rahab?

Sep 28, 2018 by

Rahab is mentioned three times in the New Testament. However, we know her best from her story which is found in the Old Testament book of Joshua. If you aren’t familiar with the story of the prostitute from...

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The quest for a nonviolent religion

Sep 27, 2018 by

The good news is human beings are a lot less violent today than at any other time in human history. The bad news is religion has been — and continues to be — a major contributor to violence. Those are a...

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Mennonites and empire

Sep 26, 2018 by

Every Mennonite in the small town of Goessel, Kan., knows the date 1874. It is emblazoned on the “Turkey Red Wheat Palace,” erected on the centennial of Mennonites’ migration to the Great Plains from...

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The catch

Sep 25, 2018 by

A meditation on Luke 5:1-11. Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God… We grope for what is spiritual-but-not-religious....

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Are truth and unity mutually exclusive?

Sep 24, 2018 by

I love the paradoxes of God: “God is love,” the Bible states, but it also says, “God is holy.” God is portrayed as both the vulnerable lamb and the wrathful lion. He is king and servant, Alpha and...

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Behind the scenes of making a hymnal

Sep 18, 2018 by

What is your all-time favorite hymn or spiritual/religious piece of music? If you go to church and participate in regular worship services, you also likely enjoy the songs and hymns most churches count as a...

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What belief should cost us everything?

Sep 17, 2018 by

Nike’s new 30th anniversary ad campaign featuring former National Football League quarterback Colin Kaepernick is causing a bit of a stir. Kaepernick is famous for his decision to kneel during the American...

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Mennonite identity amid the Fresno fiasco

Sep 12, 2018 by

A lot of talk has been happening in the Mennonite Twitter world (which is a pretty weird overlap of two very different realms) in the past few days about changes in a master’s program at Fresno Pacific...

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Fresno Pacific’s theological cocktail

Sep 10, 2018 by

Last week, Mennonite World Review reported that Fresno Pacific University in California had removed the president of its seminary, Terry Brensinger, and announced that pastors Greg Boyd, Brian Zahnd and Bruxy...

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Change without a bang

Sep 4, 2018 by

As a child, one of the things that fascinated me about Mennonites of the past was dress, particularly the head covering. What would it have been like to be marked, physically, by your religion? To have people...

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When Christians sell out Christians for political power

Sep 3, 2018 by , and

There’s a story in the Old Testament about the king of Babylon, Belshazzar, who hosted a dinner for his religious leaders and royal elites. The blindingly arrogant king, surrounded by adoring sycophants,...

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Our hymns shape our church

Aug 27, 2018 by

“Out of the fullness of the heart, the language of each mortal springs. If you would truly know a man, just listen to the songs he sings.” — Amish hymn writer John Paul Raber, Songs from Within...

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Truth is knowable — his name is Jesus

Aug 20, 2018 by

Our small group met a few days ago and once again enjoyed moments of laughter, food, spiritual discussion and prayer together as we discussed the Gospel of Mark. At one point, we briefly discussed how to...

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Balancing the needs of introverts and extroverts in the church

Aug 16, 2018 by

“What are you reading?” my bus mates asked me on tour this summer. “Quiet by Susan Cain. It’s about why introverts deserve to live.” Leave me alone; I’m reading. The subtitle of the book is “The...

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Our responsibility as clergy regarding abuse

Aug 15, 2018 by

In what has to be one of history’s most poignant, trenchant ironies, Tuesday’s report from a grand jury in Pennsylvania about decades of sexual abuse by predatory priests and of cover-ups in high...

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Non-dualistic thinking and apocalyptic theology

Aug 14, 2018 by

Many progressive Christians talk a lot about a spirituality that prizes non-dualistic thinking. This emphasis on non-dualistic thinking comes from contemplative Christian traditions that have been in...

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Why ‘church in nature’ isn’t enough

Aug 13, 2018 by

There’s this mildly irritating phrase that I have encountered with some frequency over the course of the decade or so that I have been a pastor. I’m sure you’ve encountered something like it in your own...

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The frightening task of preaching

Aug 9, 2018 by

Preaching is a privilege, a frightening task. By frightening, trembling before God is meant, not a fear of speaking in public. Jesus said we are judged by our words (Matt. 12:36-37). James said people should...

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Hearing God’s voice louder

Aug 8, 2018 by

Our theme this year in our congregation at Trissels Mennonite Church is “Moving toward Jesus together.” Occasionally during a worship service we will ask a person to share “something Jesus said or did...

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How to pray for the people you love

Aug 7, 2018 by

To introduce our summer preaching series on Philippians, I called my sermon How to Pray for the People You Love, because that’s what the apostle Paul does in the opening verses of his letter. Some years...

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A moral debate with God

Jul 31, 2018 by

In July 1943, American bombers attacked Hamburg, Germany. The Allies wanted to cripple the Nazi war machine by targeting the city’s factories. Unfortunately, precision bombing was impossible. The only way to...

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What do historians look like?

Jul 30, 2018 by

The first time I submitted a piece of scholarship for consideration to an academic journal — at age 21 and having just earned B.A. in history — a rejection letter came in quick response. Why? Because I...

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Young people key to resilient global church

Jul 25, 2018 by , and

A greeting from the Vietnam Mennonite Church to the world. Throughout its history, the people of the VMC have never failed to demonstrate their resilience and their commitment to live out the peaceful way of...

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Americans, this is who you are

Jul 20, 2018 by

My American friends have been apologizing for how their president is behaving on the international stage — castigating Canada, undermining NATO, praising dictators, starting trade wars. “This is not who we...

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