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  • Direction: A Pilgrimage of Faith. The Mennonite Brethren Church in Russia and North America, 1860-1990
    church as found in the book of Acts Biblical truth for Mennonite Brethren was existential and governed all aspects of faith and life Their rejection of institutional forms of religion left them no other point of reference but the Bible itself p 19 When there was a conflict between the Old and New Testament they opted for the focused rather than the flat canon The New Testament stood above the Old Testament in the progress of revelation And the exegetical community helped interpret the difficult passages Armed with the Word of God and the sword of the Spirit the early missionaries were ready to do battle with the forces of darkness RADICAL CONVERSION THE BEGINNING OF THE MISSIONARY PILGRIMAGE Being born again meant turning around and walking the narrow road as a new creature God allowed humanity to exercise free will that all that obey His gospel and believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life The linkage of obey and believe was important to the early Mennonite Brethren Menno Simons said My dearly beloved reader take heed to the Word of the Lord and learn to know the true God I warned you faithfully to take it if you please He will not save you nor forgive you your sins nor show you His mercy and grace except according to His word namely if you repent and if you believe if you are born of Him if you do what He has commanded and walk as He walks p 32 For Menno Simons conversion led to a complete inward transformation expressed in discipleship A call for radical conversion is a missionary calling 127 BELIEVERS BAPTISM EXPANSION OF COVENANT COMMUNITY Through baptism new converts enter into the full fellowship and work of the church They become members of the visible body of Christ They become a part of a covenant community of faith with complete accountability The Mennonite Brethren Confession of Faith confirms the importance of water baptism We believe and confess that Christian baptism is a holy visible evangelical sacred act and ordinancy institution of Christ commanded by the Lord himself for a sacred sign of Regeneration and embodiment in Him and His Church p 35 To qualify for baptism one must have repented of sin and trusted Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord As part of the Body of Christ each believer surrenders the individual rights for the corporate rights of the total body Believer s baptism is a voluntary choice to identify with the church in mission to become a missionary DISCIPLESHIP FOLLOWING JESUS ALONG THE NARROW ROAD For many to accept Jesus as Savior is easy To follow him along the narrow road is another matter The call to discipleship is a hard decision If any man will come after me let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me Matt 16 24 To believe in Jesus as Savior meant to follow Jesus in life said Hans Denk Here is

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/23/2/pilgrimage-of-faith-2.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: Mennonites and Baptists: A Continuing Conversation
    be entitled Mennonite Brethren Interaction with the Baptists because seven of the eleven essays are heavily or entirely dependent on Mennonite Brethren sources None of the essays focuses on the Mennonite influence on Baptists after the John Smyth era The final contributor James Wm McClendon Jr however describes an Anabaptist or baptist vision which in Volume I of his Systematic Theology he attributed to reading John H Yoder s Politics of Jesus a book that changed my life And the first essay is by William R Estep a strong advocate among Baptist historians of Anabaptist Baptist connections 129 The essays are scholarly but most of them are gracefully written and will appeal to a wider audience Unfortunately the first two are the heaviest they argue from extensive quotations and may discourage further reading Estep loses his focus in trying to cover too much and Abraham Friesen s survey of the nineteenth century Baptist historians focuses on Ludwig Keller s theory of free church apostolic succession rather than on Mennonite Baptist relations There are three excellent essays on the relationship of the German Baptist and Mennonite Brethren both newly emerging in the eastern Europe of the 1860s and 1870s Peter J Klassen working from German sources tells the Poland Prussia story a story perhaps not well known to English readers Albert W Wardin Jr gives the German Baptists of Russia their due in a well balanced assessment of affinities and dissimilarities with the Mennonite Brethren John B Toews who brings the Russia story up to the 1930s shows that the interaction really transcended the level of beginnings Clarence Hiebert continues the story of beginnings on the Kansas plains with a masterful analysis of why the flow of members leaders and mission money from the Mennonite Brethren to the German Baptists became

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/23/2/mennonites-and-baptists-continuing.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: When the Church Was Young: Studies in the Thessalonian Epistles
    him however from discussing the question of the relationship of 1 Thessalonians to 2 Thessalonians and the authorship of the latter pp 93 95 furthermore he frequently points out how what Paul writes in the first letter anticipates the second letter and how what Paul writes in the second presupposes what he wrote in the first But it also means for example that he nimbly dodges the serious charge of anti Semitism often leveled against Paul on the basis of 1 Thessalonians 2 15 16 by characterizing these verses as outburst coming from the heart of an exasperated missionary 36 Finally it also means that he does not scruple to use the Book of Acts as a reliable source of information complementary to that which is represented by Thessalonians The author in this reviewer s opinion succeeds in his purpose His commentary written in clear and readable style is faithful to the text and brims with insight and veritable nuggets of wisdom for the reader Indeed Ewert s years of diligent mining of the exegetical vein in order to show how the biblical word pertains to the present setting of the church has yielded great treasure The present volume is but one example of how he has sought over the years to popularize his findings I wish to make a suggestion or two On page 19 Ewert puzzles as to why Jesus most common self designation according to the Gospels namely Son of Man drops out and is not used elsewhere in the New Testament Perhaps this is reversing the actual direction of the process Since the Pauline letters which do not employ the Son of Man title ostensibly predate the Gospels the question might be recast in terms of why the Gospels at a later time added the title

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/23/2/when-church-was-young-studies-in.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: First and Second Thessalonians
    the great doctrinal truths of the Second Coming of Christ and their implications for godly living As in his former work so also in the revised edition all Greek words whenever they are used are translated in the context and transliterated Obviously any Bible student even one who lacks a working knowledge of the Greek New Testament will find this to be an open door into the riches of the inspired Word of God p 11 The general introduction guides the reader through some of the critical problems with a genuine sense of evangelical scholarship and careful attestation as to the divine origin and authenticity of the Holy Scriptures as the very Word of God Unabashedly too yet without insolent boldness the author sets forth the pre millennial position on the rapture of the church p 200 Hiebert is well known for his thoroughgoing exegesis of the New Testament He earned his B A degree in history John Fletcher College and his Th M and Th D in religious education and Greek Southern Baptist Theological Seminary From 1955 until his retirement 1985 he was professor of Greek and New Testament at Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary Fresno California where he was one of the original professors 132 Besides the commentaries on the Thessalonian Epistles Hiebert has written several other biblical studies including First Timothy Second Timothy Titus and Philemon Introduction to the Pauline Epistles and Introduction to the Non Pauline Epistles With respect to a difficult passage of Second Thessalonians 2 1 12 Hiebert clearly expounds on the two great events that must precede the Day of the LORD namely 1 The apostasy within the circle of the professed Christian church p 331 and 2 the manifestation of the man of Lawlessness p 332 An attentive reading of this passage says

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/23/2/first-and-second-thessalonians.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: Life after Fifty: A Positive Look at Aging in the Faith Community
    God Sociologist Dwight E Roth offers a historical perspective of aging in a technological society A social ethic that incorporates technological efficiency with material productivity and science as the way to knowledge 133 as in America leaves no room for contributions by the aged who have accumulated practical wisdom Physician Willard S Krabill raises hard ethical questions about medical resources and stewardship Krabill offers specific ways an elderly patient can retain some control over his or her life through informed decision making living wills and advance directives As people age according to Pastor Maynard Shelly they find they are no longer in charge of their own lives Let the church become a place of empowerment for its older members in tune with the needs of people living longer with energy to work and serve Christ Pastor Richard Gerbrandt deftly handles the difficult subject of death Gerbrandt lists four reasons people fear death and discusses physical death spiritual death and eternal death He then offers seven ways to help people face death and six tasks to make themselves ready for death For the widowed and never married loneliness can be a serious problem says Pastor James H Waltner The church can become an extended family both giving to elderly members and receiving from them skills wisdom and experience Older adults need affirmation physical contact and empathy In our highly mobile society people want to know their family s past to find continuity over the generations To tell your story is to give a gift of yourself to grandchildren yet unborn according to Helen Wade Alderfer former editor at the Mennonite Publishing House Do we age by letting time and events shape us or do we consciously or unconsciously pattern our aging after the elderly around us Pastor Laban Peachey and his

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/23/2/life-after-fifty-positive-look-at-aging.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: The
    Barfield the history of consciousness Here the perceptions of those directly involved are given primacy over the specific ideas advanced Varvis also follows Eric Voegelin in directing close attention to individual experiences and the symbols used to express them within the context of their time Accordingly the imprisoned Boethius records the successive stages of his perceptions and experiences as he seeks a satisfying spiritual consolation The Consolation of Philosophy is an extended dialogue between the prisoner and Lady Philosophy as the symbol of true wisdom Under Philosophy s firm guidance Boethius is led to contemplate with increasing intensity the highest good in itself Gradually the prisoner breaks his psychological bondage to such transient allurements as fame and wealth and finds final respite in the imperishable good which is God His spiritual malady healed Boethius receives the consolation necessary to meet his grim fate In this Christianized neo Platonic approach true wisdom consists in the proper care of the rational soul as an organic part of an ordered hierarchical cosmos that reflects the mind and will of God To participate in that divine goodness is the soul s highest aspiration In the millennium after Boethius his Consolation resonated among medieval writers From King Alfred through Chaucer the confident Boethian vision of a rational harmonious world that imaged God s own intellect and will helped to shape medieval literary perceptions But after 1300 the Boethian paradigm came under mounting attack The nominalist thinker William of Ockham led the way in insisting that God could never be bound within any intellectual system that limited his freedom Boethius underlying perception of a rational continuity between the spheres of the divine and the human had to be rejected so that God 135 retained complete liberty to do as he would There could be no rational

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/23/2/consolation-of-boethius-analytical.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: Whole Language for Second Language Learners
    more traditional teacher centered textbook driven classroom Whole Language for Second Language Learners written primarily for elementary and secondary teachers of ESL students and for teacher educators is a comprehensive analysis of seven whole language principles that are in opposition to seven commonly held assumptions about teaching and learning In the process of devoting one chapter to each of these principles the authors use the whole language approach as a filter through which they view and critique other commonly used approaches i e Total 136 Physical Response Natural Approach Bilingual Education Notional Functional Approach etc Yvonne and David Freeman have been teachers at all levels in the United States as well as in Colombia and Mexico They are currently professors in the Graduate School at Fresno Pacific College Yvonne is Director of Bilingual Education and David is Director of Language Development This wealth of experience provides a user friendly tone to the book Frequent classroom examples lesson plan options and practical hints make the book a good combination of textbook and manual The authors discuss seven whole language principles For example lessons should proceed from the whole to part Thematically organized lessons help students see where they are going otherwise students become bogged down with overwhelming seemingly unrelated details Moreover lessons should be learner centered The teacher should be a co learner rather than the ultimate source of all knowledge with textbook in hand Lessons should have an immediate purpose for the students and should provide students with choices that are current and relevant Also lessons should include listening speaking reading and writing Quite controversial is their suggestion that learning should take place in the first language in order to facilitate the building of concepts and the acquisition of English and so build self confidence and a positive attitude toward

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/23/2/whole-language-for-second-language.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: Curriculum Planning: Outcomes-Based Accountability
    is to respond to the public s increased call for demonstrable performance accountability in the educational sector The ten steps they propose for curriculum development are State the curriculum problem or need Identify revise or develop curriculum program goals and objectives Plan and organize the resources and constraints of curriculum development State the functions of and select curriculum committees used for curriculum planning and development Plan and state the roles and responsibilities of personnel involved Identify and analyze possible new curricula programs or other curricular innovations to meet the stated curriculum need Assess and select one of the new curricula programs or other curricular innovations to meet the stated curriculum need Design or redesign the new curriculum or program Implement the new curriculum or program Evaluate the new curriculum or program Each chapter offers a chart outlining the main aspects involved in accomplishing the step in addition to commentary and helpful counsel regarding implementation The second half of the book offers six very helpful appendices a comprehensive textbook evaluation guide and a series of sample programs prepared according to the proposed steps There is a six page bibliography Some of the key principles guiding the Zengers approach are thoroughness in

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/23/2/curriculum-planning-outcomes-based.html (2016-02-16)
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