Bible: To cure, cleanse, exorcise — and resurrect

Mar 18, 2019 by

A Peruvian pastor friend tells the story of leading a group of young evangelists out to some remote villages along the sinuous mountain roads of the Andes. When a lamb darted in front of their van pursued by...

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Bible: You’ve already been called home

Mar 4, 2019 by

When the State of Illinois decided to expand I-74 just north of our family farmstead in a multiyear spate of civil engineering angioplasty, my father decided to move our house. This was no small feat. Our...

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Bible: Because Jesus is true

Feb 18, 2019 by

Sometimes I talk to my seatmates on the plane. Sometimes I don’t. But when the young woman next to me had a panic attack brought on by her just-discharged-from-Afghan­istan post-traumatic stress, how could...

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Bible: The past that guides the future

Feb 4, 2019 by

We don’t often have the chance to witness mass religious festivals of a kind seen regularly in some parts of the world. They are unforgettable: the Muslim hajj, the Easter throngs in southern Africa or the...

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Bible: God in the fortress — or the slum

Jan 21, 2019 by

A famous impressionist artist once said, “I know what I’m looking at, but what am I seeing?” This inviting question leads to the heart of Psalm 48. At first glance, an ancient traveler approaching the...

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Bible: Threatened with the Resurrection

Jan 7, 2019 by

The late Vincent Harding, an African-American scholar and civil rights activist with Mennonite connections, recounted a visit to Guate­mala to witness the turmoil and suffering of its oppressed indigenous...

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Bible: The peril of being a winner

Dec 17, 2018 by

From his vantage point at the dawn of the second century, the author of James casts an eye across the churchscape of his time, taking its measure. He is unsettled. And with good reason. He sees the exiled,...

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At the Intersection: Psalm 131

Dec 5, 2018 by

There are people who take to driving as naturally as walking. For me as a wide-eyed 14-year-old with a newly minted learner’s permit, it seemed a feat akin to flying. I simply couldn’t understand how...

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Bible column: An all-in kind of love

Dec 3, 2018 by

Crack the first windows of your family Advent calendar and you will soon enough hear Mary and Zachariah and the angels in lyric worship and praise. The hour of promise come ’round could only ever begin that...

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Hearts joined in a bond with heaven

Nov 19, 2018 by

Hear the opening lines of Deuteronomy 6 and you cannot escape a feeling that you have stumbled on some center pole of sacred story, a great stake having been driven to the core. It’s as though you find...

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Yoder-Short: Rizpah’s protest

Nov 19, 2018 by

“Woman’s Pro­test Exposes Cruel Political Ploy.” This could be a headline for the present day or for the story of Rizpah. We don’t hear much about Rizpah. Her perplexing narrative is found in 2 Sam....

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Falling asleep in God’s lap

Nov 5, 2018 by

Confession: I am not always the world’s most observant person. Friends once rearranged half the items in my office as a joke and were quite disappointed that I never knew the difference. Still, I’m fairly...

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AMBS president announces retirement

Oct 24, 2018 by and

ELKHART, Ind. — The board of directors of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary announced on Oct. 23 the retirement of President Sara Wenger Shenk, effective June 30. She has served in the role since the...

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Lost and found

Oct 15, 2018 by

We love boundaries. We put them up all the time. Our countries are not the only things in life that are divided by borders. These boundaries may help us define who we are, but they also can lead us to assume...

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Bible: Under water, the death that saves

Sep 24, 2018 by

A classmate once told me the biblical story she found most irredeemable was that of Noah and his ark. When Joshua slaughters cities in God’s name, you can always blame Joshua. But who do you blame when God...

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Bible: The ‘party of one’ problem

Sep 17, 2018 by

The first thing “not good” in creation (presumably excepting the snakes) was a human being alone. This should probably not be surprising, from a Christian perspective. After all, humans were made in the...

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Bible: Go ahead, mess with perfection

Aug 27, 2018 by

In the beginning the world was a blank canvas. Then God flipped on the studio lights, stepped up to the easel and threw God’s self headlong into creation. For days, even ages, God worked without rest, lost...

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Bible: With love, our divisions fall away

Aug 13, 2018 by

These texts from Paul provide an excellent coda to our conversations about ethics, justice and the Christian life. Although Romans is rightly considered Paul’s most important theological writing, he most of...

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Bible: Generosity abolishes judgment

Jul 30, 2018 by

For the final sessions of the quarter we turn from Jesus’ teaching to the Apostle Paul’s. Yet the basic picture of Christian faith and life remains mostly the same. In the first part of his letter to the...

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Bible: Look who isn’t coming to dinner

Jul 16, 2018 by

In the ancient world you could learn a great deal about people at mealtime. What people ate and who they ate with were quite revealing. Luke 14 certainly tells us a lot about Jesus — and about those who set...

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Bible: Through the narrow door

Jul 2, 2018 by

A key moment in Luke comes at the end of chapter 9 when Jesus “set his face toward Jerusalem” (9:51). In the following chapters, we read stories of Jesus and his followers heading toward the big...

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Bible: Complicated commands

Jun 18, 2018 by

Matthew seeks to trace how Jesus prepared his followers to spread his good news to “all nations” that they might obey what he has commanded (28:16-20; for the commands, see especially the Sermon on the...

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Bible: Blinded by wealth

Jun 4, 2018 by

Jesus engaged in numerous conflicts and controversies, leading ultimately to his crucifixion. The Pharisees were his most prominent adversaries. We should note that Jesus often took the fight to the Pharisees....

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When I dislike things in the Bible

Jun 4, 2018 by

“Women should be silent.” “Cover your head.” “Wives, submit to your husbands.” “Take up your cross” “Share in suffering.” “You will experience persecution.” There’s a lot of...

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Bible: Conflict over the Law’s meaning

May 21, 2018 by

This quarter we look at the justice of God, primarily in the message of Jesus with a bit of Paul. The Gospel of Matthew, more than the other three Gopels, tells us about conflicts Jesus faced with religious...

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