March 4, 2019

One cool thing about working at AMBS is that there’s a table of free books in the lounge—books that have been remaindered by the library or donated by retired faculty or alumni. And sometimes those books include John Howard Yoder’s personal bound copy of the first eight issues of the Concern pamphlet series.* As GAMEO describes, Concern is the name given to a series of pamphlets initiated by a group of young American Mennonite graduate students, relief workers, and missionaries who… Read more

February 28, 2019

A few years ago the good people at Sojourners invited me to write a short article on the varieties of approaches to Christian nonviolence. In “A Field Guide to Christian Nonviolence,” Sojourners (January 2016), I describe eight distinct approaches to nonviolence, each exemplified by a Christian thinker or activist: 1. ‘Realist’ Nonviolence Walter Rauschenbusch (1861- 1918) Key Work: A Theology for the Social Gospel (1917) 2. The Nonviolence of the Disinherited Howard Thurman (1899-1981) Key Work: Jesus and the Disinherited (1949) 3. The Nonviolence of Christian… Read more

February 25, 2019

Recently I had a conversation with an AMBS colleague about the distinction between Anabaptism and neo-Anabaptism. After I shared with him what I thought the differences were, I did what I normally do when I’ve just said something with more confidence than is warranted: I went back to my office and looked up the terms on the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online (GAMEO!). Problem is, there’s no entry there for neo-Anabaptism (yet). And the original entry for Anabaptism is written in part by the father… Read more

February 22, 2019

Last year the church where I serve as teaching pastor, Keller Park Church (South Bend, Indiana), celebrated its 50th anniversary—or our very own year of Jubilee. To celebrate this occasion, I preached a series on the Jubilee theme as found in the Gospel of Luke (with allusions to Isaiah and Leviticus). Below is the fifth sermon of the series. (While you’re here, check out the other sermons, Revolution, Release, Rest-oration, and Remembrance.) If you ever read straight through one of the Gospels, you’ll be… Read more

February 19, 2019

Here’s a roundup of some stories that caught my attention from various Mennonite outlets over the past few weeks. If there’s any I should include in a future dispatch, let me know in the comments. 1. Militant Mennonites Over at Canadian Mennonite, Karl Koop writes about an aspect of Mennonite life that many Mennonites would like to ignore: pro-war Mennonites. Koop writes, To be sure, there has always been a nonresistant or pacifist thread running through the Mennonite story. Throughout the centuries,… Read more

February 15, 2019

Last year the church where I serve as teaching pastor, Keller Park Church (South Bend, Indiana), celebrated its 50th anniversary—or our very own year of Jubilee. To celebrate this occasion, I preached a series on the Jubilee theme as found in the Gospel of Luke (with allusions to Isaiah and Leviticus). Below is the fourth sermon of the series. (While you’re here, check out the other sermons, Revolution, Release, and Rest-oration.) When I was in college, I tried to keep a regular… Read more

February 13, 2019

If you’re not Mennonite, J. Lawrence Burkholder may be the most influential Mennonite ethicist you haven’t heard of. Burkholder had a distinguished career as a Goshen College and Harvard Divinity School faculty member, including being named as the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Divinity and first chair of the Department of the Church. And he later served as president of Goshen College from 1971 to 1984. But despite all this, his publication output was fairly meager. One explanation for this,… Read more

February 7, 2019

Last year the church where I serve as teaching pastor, Keller Park Church (South Bend, Indiana), celebrated its 50th anniversary—or our very own year of Jubilee. To celebrate this occasion, I preached a series on the Jubilee theme as found in the Gospel of Luke (with allusions to Isaiah and Leviticus). Below is the third sermon of the series. (While you’re here, check out the first and second sermons, Revolution and Release.) When I was a kid, we observed the Sunday Sabbath quite… Read more

February 5, 2019

Today for my “Dispatches” post I want to share a bit about Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS), Elkhart, Indiana, where I work (for one of my jobs) and some of the things going on here. (I’ll share about my other job as a teaching pastor some other time.) My first time on campus at AMBS was nearly a decade ago when I audited the course Christian Attitudes toward War, Peace, and Revolution, taught by Ted Koontz. Koontz took over the… Read more

January 31, 2019

Last year the church where I serve as teaching pastor, Keller Park Church (South Bend, Indiana), celebrated its 50th anniversary—or our very own year of Jubilee. To celebrate this occasion, I preached a series on the Jubilee theme as found in the Gospel of Luke (with allusions to Isaiah and Leviticus). Below is the first sermon of the series. (While you’re here, check out the first sermon, Revolution.) Does anyone else remember learning this story as a kid—perhaps in Sunday school with… Read more

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