Becoming the children of God

May 1, 2018 by

“See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are.” — 1 John 3:1 We are the children of God. For a lot of us today, this phrase, “children of...

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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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Kehrberg: Eden’s flaws a perfect model

Sep 25, 2017 by

This earth is the garden of our Lord, and he walks in his garden in the cool of the day. — Jean Ritchie, “Now Is the Cool of the Day” In a late-night chat with my daughters, we hit on the topic of sin,...

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Andres: Starting in the middle

Jul 17, 2017 by

In May, Showtime released a limited series revival of Twin Peaks, a 1990 quirky two-season television crime drama set in a small town in Washington and centered on FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper’s...

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The ‘Christian’ politics of stone-throwing

Jul 5, 2017 by

One of the challenges in any era is what to do when there is a difference of opinion. Two key areas come to mind: theology and politics. Yep, so-called Christian politics. When I was in my 20s, I deconstructed...

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Bearing witness to the state

Jun 26, 2017 by

There is a certain strand of Anabaptist two-kingdom theology that says church and state should be so entirely separate that the church has nothing to say to the state. The church, according to this view, has...

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Kraybill: Where truth confronted power

Mar 27, 2017 by

Today multiple versions of “truth” compete for attention in politics and media. We ask the same question Pontius Pilate famously put to Jesus: What is truth? (John 18:38). Truth already had been...

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Book review: ‘Righting America at the Creation Museum’

Jan 16, 2017 by

Susan L. Trollinger and Wil­liam Vance Trollinger Jr. describe the Creation Museum as an arsenal for the Christian Right’s culture wars. It’s an apt analogy, but perhaps a better comparison would be a...

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A Word-y people

Sep 9, 2016 by

St Francis never said it so far as we know, but many have attributed it to him: “Preach the gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.” Whether he said it or not, many today think the primary form of...

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Missionaries of mercy

Aug 15, 2016 by

The story of thrift store manager Suzette Shreffler’s practice of dealing with thieves is inspiring and challenging. After confronting a man she caught stealing, she had him volunteer for an hour, gave him...

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Bible: Gospel of liberation from idols

Jul 4, 2016 by

Romans 3 famously contains a dense theological argument. Paul discusses the need for and provision of salvation in Jesus Christ. Paul has a simple purpose: That his readers, Jewish and Gentile Christians...

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When violence is a good thing

Jun 22, 2016 by

I don’t always understand our world. It’s a tough, complicated mess of lives and loves, fears and failures. And core to our world and news about it these days is violence; which comes in an ever-increasing...

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Can war be just?

May 23, 2016 by

The just-war theory is both bad and good. This is not a contradiction. For nonresistant Christians, it is bad. Pacifism is a way of life, not a case-by-case call. For nonpacifists, the principles for judging...

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The Gospel in translation

May 12, 2016 by

People are drawn to the story of God’s mighty acts, the story of Jesus, not simply for the story itself, but because they hear that story in their own native languages. If the apostles had been speaking...

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Christmas without incarnation

Jan 13, 2016 by

This past Christmas I noticed something: a lot of Christians talk about Christmas without talking about the incarnation, at least not in any meaningful way. This can be from conservatives or liberals (usually...

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Frightening light

Dec 24, 2015 by

The “rising sun” came unexpectedly and unobtrusively upon those living in darkness. It was a very small light in a very ordinary place. A baby. Of all things. A baby boy. Which didn’t seem very...

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These long Advent nights

Dec 22, 2015 by

And maybe this is what heroism looks like nowadays: occasionally high-profile heroism in public but mostly just painstaking mastery of arcane policy, stubborn perseverance year after year for a cause, empathy...

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Waiting for restoration

Dec 7, 2015 by

Not just a short wintertime season, Advent is always with us. Every day, some manifestation of creation’s groaning (Rom. 8:18-25) appears and causes outrage — or, alternatively, not as much outrage as it...

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Anabaptist schools, scripture and spiritual awakening

Nov 23, 2015 by

In late September, many of us were enthralled by a rare celestial display: a super moon in total eclipse, also known as a blood moon because of its reddish glow — clearly a reference to the apocalyptic...

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Approaching apologetics

Nov 13, 2015 by

In my later teen and early young adult years, apologetics were a fairly important discipline to me. I read all of Lee Strobel’s The Case For… books. Looking back on them, there were some great ideas that...

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Close to misunderstanding Jesus?

Nov 6, 2015 by

On the first Counting Crows album, Adam Duritz sang about Maria, who said she was “close to understanding Jesus.” But I can’t help feeling that modern western Christianity has covered Jesus in layers of...

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Jesus valued social justice and so should you

Aug 20, 2015 by

Jesus was a social justice hero. He boldly spoke out against inequality, helped the oppressed, condemned the oppressor and embraced the alienated. Like today, many were drawn to His causes and could identify...

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