August 31, 2023

Little Amal comes to South Bend By Andrea Cramer SOUTH BEND, Indiana—Neighbor to Neighbor, the EM EN Art House, and the  St. Joseph County Public Library invite the Michiana community to gather at the Morris Performing Arts Center plaza (211 N Michigan Ave, South Bend, IN 46601) on September 7, starting at 7:00 p.m., to participate in the interactive event Amal from Afar.  Beginning that evening, Little Amal, a 12-foot puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee child, will tour 35... Read more

August 18, 2023

Reading sociologist Andrew L. Whitehead’s new book, American Idolatry, I had the distinct feeling of being back at my childhood church. Whitehead and I met during our freshman year of high school in the youth group of a large rural evangelical church in northern Indiana. This is the church where we learned to love and follow Jesus. Where we learned to read the Bible. Where we found Christian community and made lifelong friendships, including with each other. And it is where... Read more

July 10, 2023

Note: Last Saturday, July 8, I gave a plenary titled “A Great Cloud of Witnesses: Encountering Exemplars of the Gospel Practice(s) of Peace” at the Ekklesia Project 2023 gathering at Englewood Christian Church in Indianapolis on the theme Peacebuilding: Practicing the Peace the World Cannot Give. The following excerpt is from my introduction. A video of the entire talk should be posted on EP’s YouTube page soon. You can also read a fuller version of my talk in my book... Read more

April 22, 2023

“God has shown me that I should no longer think of anyone as impure or unclean” —Peter to Cornelius (Acts 10:28) Conversion stories When I was kid, my family used to listen to a radio drama called Unshackled! every Sunday night on our drive home from Sunday night church. Unshackled! is the longest-running radio drama in history, having first aired on September 23, 1950, and continuing to this day. To date, over 3,700 episodes have been produced. Each half-hour episode... Read more

March 30, 2023

“They stood there puzzled” (v. 4, NLT). “The women were terrified” (v. 5). “The story sounded like nonsense to the men, so they didn’t believe it” (v. 11). “He went home again, wondering what had happened” (v. 12). Puzzled. Terrified. Nonsense. Didn’t believe it. Wondering. These are not words we normally associate with Easter. And yet, here they are in Luke’s Gospel narrative of that first Easter morning. Why would Luke include these details? At the outset of his Gospel,... Read more

March 3, 2023

In addition to writing and pastoring, one of the hats I wear is managing editor at the Institute of Mennonite Studies at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary. There I have the privilege of working on projects that center voices and perspectives that historically have been marginalized or silenced. One of those projects is the recent book Resistance: Confronting Violence, Power, and Abuse within Peace Churches, edited by Cameron Altaras and Carol Penner. Historic peace churches, like the Mennonites and Amish featured in... Read more

June 11, 2022

This Sunday, June 12, I’m speaking about Christian nonviolence with my friend Ryan Yazel at South Bend City Church, as part of a sermon series on their mantra “Everyone an Icon.” This is probably as good a time as any to mention that the book I coauthored with my friend Myles Werntz, A Field Guide to Christian Nonviolence: Key Thinkers, Activists, and Movements for the Gospel of Peace (Baker Academic, 2022), is now available! About the book The book arose... Read more

May 23, 2022

Paul as Champion for Christ When I was a kid, we used to sing a song in children’s church based on Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me; I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me; Day by day, hour by hour, I am strengthen by his power; I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! This verse has become a motto for people pursuing great achievements in life. While “John... Read more

May 16, 2022

In the first week of May, 43% of baby formula supplies were out of stock across the United States. This followed a recall on formula by Abbott Nutrition, after four babies developed a bacterial infection after using the formula—two of them subsequently dying. Since Abbott Nutrition is one of only three major producers of baby formula in the United States, their recall created a nationwide shortage. Last Thursday, the governor of Texas issued a fiery statement about the federal government’s... Read more

January 17, 2022

On April 13, 1960, Christian Century magazine published Martin Luther King Jr.’s essay “Pilgrimage to Nonviolence” as part of their series “How My Mind Has Changed,” in which theologians and other public intellectuals reflect on their prior decade of intellectual development. In the essay, King describes how his view of nonviolence developed from understanding Jesus’s commands to “turn the other cheek” and “love your enemies” as applicable only to interpersonal situations to seeing its applicability to group conflicts and even international relations.... Read more

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