The temptation of political power

Jan 20, 2020 by

Of the brutal Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt is supposed to have commented: “He may be a bastard, but he’s our bastard.” This quote sums up the dominant political...

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Clothes and wounds

Jan 6, 2020 by

Often when I revisit a familiar biblical story, something new emerges. Sometimes that new thing is a simple truth, other times it’s a detail that I simply overlooked as if it wasn’t important. This...

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The beauty of paradox

Dec 30, 2019 by

Why do Christians have such difficulty reaching agreement? The answer may lie in the very nature of God and the gospel. Our challenge is to embrace a God of mystery who is also relational and trustworthy. This...

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The Word of God in all its pages

Dec 23, 2019 by and

Recently I received a letter from a child I sponsor who lives in a small village half a world away. He told me his family are goat herders and his favorite food is maize. He asked me what I like to eat and...

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God of war?

Dec 9, 2019 by

Ronald J. Sider’s attempt to rationalize genocide in the Hebrew Scriptures (“Jesus and the Old Testament on Killing,” Nov. 25) is just that, rationalization. Theologian Marcus Borg writes: “The Jewish...

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Bible: David’s prayer, Mary’s song

Dec 9, 2019 by

In the first three lessons of this quarter, we looked at how 1 Chronicles 15-17 presents kingship and the temple in ancient Israel. Now we turn to a story that seems to stand in contrast with David and...

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Why do most Christians reject pacifism?

Oct 30, 2019 by

There are at least two major sets of reasons why most Christians reject pacifism: biblical arguments and general objections. And there are answers to all of them. Biblical arguments Jesus said, “I did not...

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Create peace

Oct 22, 2019 by

In Matthew’s story of Jesus’ arrest, the most relevant part for “creating peace” is obviously when one of the disciples pulls out his sword and starts swinging. Then Jesus says: “Put your sword back...

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Real shepherd experience

Oct 21, 2019 by

Facebook told me the estate sale would have primitives. Several days later, Facebook added “cinnamon rolls.” I would be there. I don’t need any more stuff, primitive or not. I definitely don’t need...

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Who was I to hinder God?

Oct 16, 2019 by

Cornelius and Peter lived in separate worlds. Left to their own devices, they would have stayed separate. But, as told in Acts 10-11, God intrudes on both of them by means of a vision. Their story — a tale...

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Andres: Retelling the Gospels

Sep 30, 2019 by

Earlier this year, the family-friendly streaming service Vidangel and Christian filmmaker Dallas Jenkins made Hollywood history after raising more than $10 million dollars in a crowdfunding campaign to fund...

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Yoder-Short: Annoying persistence

Sep 16, 2019 by

Is it ever OK to nag about injustices? Do we remain too quiet when all around us vulnerable children, the marginalized and widows find no justice or are even ridiculed? Does Jesus’ parable of the unrelenting...

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You need Jesus, boy!

Aug 5, 2019 by

There is only one place in the world where I can walk into the local TV station and get instant coverage just by picking up the mic, smiling into the camera and announcing myself. That place is a First Nations...

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Andres: The power of a single word

Jul 8, 2019 by

When I rewatch films, I often pick up on something new. Occasionally, I notice something that changes the way I see the film. That was the case with Field of Dreams, which turns 30 this year. The film opens...

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New law is better

Jun 10, 2019 by

In “Mountains Below the Surface,” Brad Roth says we “cannot dismiss the requirements of the Old Testament law.” Of course the old law is not abolished, but it is obsolete, and these two statements do...

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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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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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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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Kraybill: Jesus calls women to the center

Jul 2, 2018 by

Nancy Kauffmann of Goshen, Ind., has long been a pioneer as a woman in congregational and denominational leadership. So it’s not surprising that a painting by Chilean artist Daniel Cariola in a chapel next...

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Making sense of the messy Bible

Jun 11, 2018 by

I’m convinced that if somebody simply rewrote books of the Bible in modern language and published it under a different name, most Christian bookstores would refuse to carry it because of all the violence and...

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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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He goes lower still

Mar 26, 2018 by

God is immense. He spread the universe with one wave of his hand; billions of galaxies spanning light years, completely unseen and unreachable by man. This same God created the intricacies of our bodies that...

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Yoder-Short: Stories rely on empathy

Mar 12, 2018 by

Have you ever wondered about her story, that woman caught in adultery? We know nothing about her situation. Contrast this with the Samaritan woman, where we know about her five husbands and her latest live-in...

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The missional nature of the Incarnation

Dec 4, 2017 by

As I enter this Christmas season, I am reminded again and again of the ways in which we have co-opted the story of the birth of Jesus as another ploy to get people saved (lead people to jesus, get people to...

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Yahweh Has Always Been a Peacenik

Oct 5, 2017 by

Where did Jesus get his inspiration? From the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings, of course. Little of what Jesus said was original with him. His genius was not so much in the substance of his sayings as in...

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