Book review: Gathering of Sisters

Mar 18, 2019 by

Tuesdays. Not a standout on most calendars. But for Darla Weaver and her four sisters, her mother and 18 nieces and nephews, Tuesday is the pivot on which the week turns. It’s the day they leave behind the...

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Book review: The new gods of technology

Mar 4, 2019 by

It’s staggering to think how human communication technologies have changed from the time of the telegraph to the internet. What’s more staggering is to consider how things will change over the next 150...

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Book review: Spiritual cousins not so distant

Feb 18, 2019 by

For many Mennonites, the Brethren in Christ are distant spiritual cousins. The BIC, while firmly Anabaptist, have also drawn deeply from the wells of pietism and Wesley­anism, which has created some...

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Book review: ‘Flight: Mennonites facing the Soviet Empire in 1929-30’

Feb 4, 2019 by

We live in an era of human flight and displacement. The United Nations Refugee Agency says there are more than 68 million refu­gees throughout the world. A top political issue in North America and Europe is...

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Book review: ‘From James Joyce to Organic Farming’

Jan 21, 2019 by

Maynard Kaufman is a South Dakota farm boy, a Joycian scholar and post-Christian theologian, a multidisciplinary professor in religious and environmental studies, an organic farmer, a communitarian and...

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Bridging is precarious

Jan 21, 2019 by

Regarding Rich Preheim’s review of Merle Good’s Surviving Failure: Good, as I have known him, has always tried to bridge cultural changes and interpret cultures to each other. He has attempted to open...

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Book review: ‘The Four Gifts’

Jan 7, 2019 by

The Four Gifts by April Yamasaki evokes for me Jesus’ search for solitude after his work of healing among the crowds. It seems that some of the most oft-told stories of Jesus are of his crossing the sea to...

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Book review: ‘The Great Reckoning’

Dec 3, 2018 by

In October, the longtime evangelical leader Pat Rob­ertson weighed in on the murder of journalist Jamal Kashoggi in a Saudi consulate. According to Robertson, the United States needed to tread lightly with...

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Book review: ‘Love Undocumented’

Nov 19, 2018 by

Immigration has shaped nearly every epoch of U.S. history. Americans are a nation of people who have left one place in order to arrive in a new world. With the rise of the Trump administration, however, the...

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Book review: ‘The Pastor Wears a Skirt’

Nov 5, 2018 by

Contemporary memoir, unlike autobiography, is selective in its sharing of life experiences for a defined purpose: to represent a voice, often that of a woman, not heard before — from Maya Angelou’s...

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Book review: Warriors who renounced war

Oct 22, 2018 by

Three decades ago, Julie Putnam Hart sat in a peace lecture opposing the Stra­tegic Defense Initiative, commonly known as Star Wars. Intrigued by the presenter’s journey, she wanted to understand how a...

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Book review: The Book of books isn’t boring

Oct 8, 2018 by

I have a nasty suspicion that a comprehensive review of the Bible will either be: a) too long, complicated and detailed; or b) too general to be helpful. Was I ever wrong about Meghan Larissa Good’s book!...

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Book review: ‘Believe Me’

Sep 24, 2018 by

Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 U.S. presidential election surprised almost everyone. How did it happen? Evangelical Christians had a lot to do with it. In Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald...

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Book review: ‘Education with the Grain of the Universe’

Aug 27, 2018 by

Over the past several decades, one remarkable initiative in Mennonite higher education has been in the new academic field of peace and conflict studies. Mennonite schools across North America — from Fresno...

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Book review: ‘Mystics and Misfits’

Aug 13, 2018 by

About eight years ago, Christiana Peterson, her husband and daughter moved from urban Washington, D.C., to an intentional Christian community in rural north-central Illinois. Their motives were many:...

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Book review: ‘Plantation Jesus’

Jul 30, 2018 by

Another book on racism? Haven’t we moved beyond that topic yet? Isn’t it time for all of us to get over it? It is precisely these responses to racism that prompted Skot Welch, Rick Wilson and Andi...

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Book review: ‘Love in a Time of Hate’

Jul 2, 2018 by

As I write this review, the world is experiencing a refugee crisis unmatched in its history. According to the United Nations, 22.5 million people have been displaced from their homes worldwide; more than half...

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Book review: ‘Worthy’

Jun 18, 2018 by

Someone once suggested to me that advertising exists to convince us we aren’t good enough. Whether it’s shampoo, car or a smart phone app, all can (and should) be improved upon. In my more cynical moments...

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Book review: ‘Harold and Arlene: Ministers to Many’

May 21, 2018 by

A new and inspiring biography tells the story of a pastoral couple with a deep love for God and the Mennonite Church. With lives spanning most of the 20th century, Harold and Arlene Eshleman navigated a time...

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Book review: ‘Soul Tending’

May 7, 2018 by

Do you remember a time when every Sunday started with three hours of church followed by a long meal, often roast beef and root vegetables that roasted in the oven while we sat in the pews? Perhaps the meal was...

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Book review: ‘EMU: A Century of Countercultural Education’

Apr 23, 2018 by

Like all religious groups, Mennonites have always wrestled with how to maintain basic group beliefs and practices while still inhabiting a particular cultural context. In Christian parlance, they’ve...

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Book review: ‘Fledge’

Apr 9, 2018 by

When my children were very young, there was all manner of reading material at my fingertips, ready to tell me exactly how I might raise perfect kids. I could read books on attachment and potty training, blogs...

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Book review: ‘Shalom Sistas’

Mar 26, 2018 by

Those who have mucked out a house after a flood know how painstaking and messy the process becomes. Worse yet is when the disaster drives you from your home as a refugee, carting away pieces of your old life...

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Book review: ‘Saving Germany’

Feb 26, 2018 by

Saving Germany: North American Protestants and Christian Mission to West Germany, 1945-1974 is a book about North American Protestant efforts to “save” Germany from social and political chaos and spiritual...

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Book review: ‘The Fog of Faith’

Feb 12, 2018 by

In early January, Oprah Winfrey gave an astounding speech at The Golden Globe awards, accepting the Cecil B. DeMille award for lifetime achievement and declaring “a new day is on the horizon” for women who...

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