April 12, 2021

Sara Wenger Shenk was president of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana, from 2010 to 2019. As a course auditor and later administrative faculty member at AMBS during her tenure, I had the pleasure of gleaning from her seasoned wisdom during these years, especially from her regular chapel addresses. Sara has honed the art of breaking down complex and difficult topics and presenting them in clear and simple (but not simplistic) ways. Now that art is on display for… Read more

January 22, 2021

At Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a “day on.” Instead of taking the day off, we take the day to actively engage our community through activities inspired by King’s legacy. A couple years ago, I began a practice of reading one of King’s works and writing a short reflection on how it pertains to today. This year the text I chose was King’s final book, Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? For… Read more

December 8, 2020

Isaiah 40:1–11, the prologue to the second major unit of Isaiah (chapters 40–55), is addressed to a people—indeed, to a nation—that is slowly emerging from a prolonged, painful experience of collective trauma. The first unit of Isaiah, chapters 1–39, speaks words of judgment on Judah for its sin, idolatry, and oppression. It leads up to the ultimate judgment on the people in 587 BCE, when Jerusalem is conquered and destroyed by the Babylonian Empire, and many of its people are taken… Read more

November 22, 2020

Throughout the Bible, and in the teachings of Jesus in particular, rarely do we find specific directives on political policies, platforms, and parties. Instead, Jesus and the Bible as a whole seek to expand our imaginations, to transform our minds, so that we can test and approve God’s will, that which is good, pleasing, and perfect, in our own time and place. While the responsibility falls on us to discern how to seek the peace and welfare of our society, the Bible… Read more

November 15, 2020

The parable of the talents, or of the three servants, is one of Jesus’s most familiar parables. Yet, despite its familiarity, it is one of the most commonly misread parables of Jesus.  There are a number of ways to misread this parable. Some take Jesus’s description of the master in the parable to be a straightforward depiction of God. According to this view, God is a harsh master, just like the third servant describes. The Christian life, then, is about trying to meet… Read more

November 8, 2020

I don’t know about you, but for me this last week felt like it went on forever. It reminded me of the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day where TV weatherman Phil Connors gets stuck repeating the same day in  Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, over and over and over again. It kind of felt last week like the whole country was stuck repeating the same day in Pennsylvania. Tuesday night was exciting watching returns come in and seeing states go blue or red. By Wednesday morning,… Read more

November 1, 2020

On November 1, the church celebrates All Saints’ Day, also known as All Hallows’ Day or Hallowmas. For many of us, this holiday has been overshadowed by the day that precedes it: Halloween, or All Hallows Evening, the evening before All Saints’ Day. Some traditions, such as Roman Catholicism, have a process called canonization for recognizing their holy people as saints. These are people who devoted their lives to the work of the gospel—including recently people like Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul… Read more

October 23, 2020

In Romans 13:1, the apostle Paul writes, “Everyone must submit to governing authorities.” Throughout the history of the church, this one verse (as well as similar verses in Titus 3:1 and 1 Peter 2:17–18) more than any other has guided Christians’ thinking about their relationship to governing authorities. Many Christians have taken this verse to mean that, if their governing authority commands them to do or not to do a certain action, it is their Christian duty to obey.  If the… Read more

October 18, 2020

In 1966, as an American prisoner of war in North Vietnam, Naval Officer Jeremiah Denton was forced to give a televised interview. During the interview, he stated that he was being provided “adequate food, adequate clothes, and medical care when I require it.” However, while saying the words his captors expected of him, he was also communicating something else with his body. Through a series of blinking with his eyes, he spelled out the word “torture” in Morse Code. This was the first confirmation… Read more

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