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  • Direction: Luke
    still a part of God s plan for Luke and that the evangelist is not anti Semitic The commentary is something of a mixed breed it is part critical part expositional and occasionally devotional any one aspect of which would be difficult to do justice to in only 400 pages compare for instance Fitzmeyer s two volume work on Luke which exceeds 1500 pages In terms of format Evans in discussing each textual unit of Luke first briefly introduces the unit by noting its structure and its relationship to the literary context and often to the other two synoptic gospels as well then offers his comments on the unit and thirdly concludes with Additional Notes Although the Additional Notes usually concern more technical matters than the commentary proper the distinction between the two is not always clear Evans does not make much of the overall structure of Luke a bare bones outline is offered on page 15 as a consequence the work as a whole is somewhat discursive Evans works essentially as an evangelical redaction critic in this respect the commentary represents a healthy via media between an anti intellectual refusal to see editorial effort at work in Luke and a leftist fundamentalism which assumes a substantial fabrication by the evangelist Accordingly there is a cautious embrace of modern critical study of 104 the Gospels see pages 56 60 68 110 116 215 267 295 318 and 328 29 for instances Commenting on the Pharisees Evans notes What the twentieth century reader may not realize is that because Christianity in Luke s time was criticized and opposed primarily by Pharisees the Pharisees are portrayed in the Gospels as Jesus chief enemies 91 The reviewer found little with which he would disagree as far as Evans conclusions are concerned though I

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/21/1/luke.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: Strategies and Techniques for Teaching
    to instruction The book begins by offering lesson design and micro teaching guidelines The authors offer this section as a tool to access understand and use a previously unused strategy Then follow 61 strategies that can be used for teaching Among those described are lecture demonstration interview panel discussion case study role playing problem solving team teaching cooperative learning simulation game chalkboard questioning debate testing as a method of teaching recitation and field trip Each strategy is briefly presented in an easily accessible format For each strategy the definition and main purpose are given in a sentence or two Next come three short sections labeled How It Works Guidelines for Using and Examples In this way each strategy is introduced together with instructions and specific techniques necessary to implement the strategy Additionally two more sections are proffered Advantages and Disadvantages On the average five advantages and five disadvantages are outlined these serve the reader well in discerning the appropriateness of use for a particular class setting or learning goal Finally if more information and ideas are needed for implementing the strategy a short yet adequate section on references concludes the description The contribution of the authors in pulling together this

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/21/1/strategies-and-techniques-for-teaching.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: Historical Endnotes
    1940 1960 is in many ways a transitional period for North American Mennonite Brethren For the most part they entered the period speaking German living in rural communities and working with multiple lay congregational leadership By 1960 the transition to English was virtually complete in the States and well underway in Canada Urbanization and professionalization of the ministry were well in place The 1954 General Conference reshuffled the conference organizational system into one more clearly national rather than regional and continental as practiced since 1912 Along side these alterations was the experience of World War II and its impact on conceptions of service and citizenship The intent of the symposium is to probe these and other important features of this twenty year period of time The focus will be on mid century changes with the 1940 60 dates as guidelines rather than boundaries for the discussions The symposium will bring together scholars coming with research based papers and will include a participant panel The participant panel will be composed of individuals who lived through the two decades and who bring personal experiences to modify and enlarge the research based perspectives Thus the event will be a unique mixture of scholarly

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/21/1/historical-endnotes.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: From the Editors: North American Mennonite Brethren Consultation on Church Growth
    church growth Heading into the current decade the Mennonite Brethren adopted a set of goals to be reached by the year 2000 One of these goals was for an increase in church membership from 45 000 to 65 000 The goals proposed by the Board of Faith and Life called for fifty multi cultural churches to be established To provide orientation and incentive for church growth major boards of the denomination arranged for a North America wide consultation Apart from the nature of the topic the broad based sponsorship for this consultation and the high attendance made the event especially significant The papers and responses presented at the consultation in Vancouver B C in April 1991 though at times abbreviated are found in the following pages The focus on church growth is helpfully augmented by a scriptural study on Paul and the conversion of Gentiles provided by a New Testament scholar Two writers from Germany and Japan put the discussion of church growth beyond the borders of North America a healthy addition A historian writes about the spiritual awakening in India in 1905 06 and the way in which Mennonite missionaries at Coimbatore were affected It is commonplace to claim

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/20/2/editorial.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: Church Growth Consultation: Expectations and Post-Session Perceptions
    percent of the membership into pastoral missionary roles growing three percent annually and establishing a minimum of 50 multi cultural churches Second a concern about how pastors leaders and congregations work together in developing healthy reproducing churches Third the realization that while Mennonite Brethren have been heavily influenced by the Church Growth Movement in the past twenty five years leaders have never met to discern and discuss its specific application to our denomination The Consultation worked toward the implementation of the North American vision by aiming at five goals focusing the vision for church renewal growth and planting in obedience to Christ s mandate bringing leaders together for prayer teaching discussion and understanding of biblical church growth principles creating an open forum to discuss the impact of Church Growth theory on Mennonite Brethren leadership polity and congregational size building unity among leaders and developing a workable growth strategy together with leaders churches and district provincial national conferences The plenary papers dealt with five major issues cultural context tenets of the Church Growth Movement leadership church polity and models strategies In the midst of our common commitment to building healthy growing churches there was vigorous debate especially on the issues of church leadership and polity Participants highlighted the following as being most helpful at the Consultation quality plenary papers and responses a willingness to tackle important issues over which there was difference of opinion and understanding the interaction cross fertilization and stimulation arising from the small group process the affirmation of diversity in church models i e from house church to mega church and everything in between and the program mix of worship Bible study small groups and plenary sessions The Consultation did not fulfill all expectations Multiethnics 5 U S Conference leaders 45 and women participants 32 were underrepresented The

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/20/2/church-growth-consultation-expectations.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: Planting Churches in North America Today
    is more than a gathering of people It is a way of 10 life and a worldview It is made possible by macro social systems related to such services as utilities communications transportation banking business government universities and politics It is characterized by mobility transiency pragmatism and specialization The city nurtures a view of the world that values human engineering of nature and society achievement and profit competition and success and diversity and tolerance The city poses a new challenge to the church not only because so many people live there but because it is a different way of life The church in North America for the most part has been shaped in rural communities characterized by enduring relationships stability continuity over time and a rhythmic cycle of days and seasons It assumed a homogeneous congregation that participated in all of the church activities and one basic style of worship and ministry Rural ways however do not often work in cities They work in urban ethnic communities and among rural immigrants In two or three generations however the offspring are assimilated into urban life Hiebert and Hertig 1991 Churches built on the foundations of ethnicity grow so long as immigration continues The children and grandchildren of the immigrants however do not want to be identified with their ethnic roots Many reject their ethnic church and with it Christianity in their attempt to become Americans In three or four generations the ethnic church dies out if it does not open its doors to the world around it We as Mennonite Brethren struggle with the same transition We are second third and fourth generation immigrants in Canada and the U S seeking to assimilate into North American societies We are also rural peoples moving into the cities but using rural ways of organizing our churches and worship services and of evangelizing our neighbors The World of Post Modernity A number of scholars argue that we are moving out of the age of modernity into the age of post modernity Naisbitt 1982 What are its chief characteristics and how do these affect our being the church and planting the church in North America Post modernity is a rebellion against modernity s emphasis on uniformity materialism and mechanistic determinism 11 Deconstructionism In the first place post modernity is a reaction to modernity s stress on uniformity The big factory the large department store and the multinational corporation are the latter s hallmarks Science and technology its guide Standardization its goal Socially North America has always been pluralistic Immigrants from many countries have settled here Until the 1980s however the effects of this pluralism were tempered The vast majority of immigrants came from Europe and shared a basic worldview dominated by Christian values and Enlightenment rationalism Furthermore at least in the U S there has been the conviction that this diversity will blend into one dominant American culture In the end everyone should speak English and live by western concepts of law Christians have the

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/20/2/planting-churches-in-north-america-today.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: Response to Paul G. Hiebert
    The implications of this for the Church have often been noted people brought to a church by friends as well as people who quickly establish friendships in a church are most likely to stay therefore activities which nurture friendship should have high priority Many churches understand this and give high priority to the development and nurture of small groups in which friendships can be established Churches increasingly represent and promote themselves as places where friendship acceptance involvement and support flourish They decreasingly define themselves by their doctrinal and historical distinctives Contemporary brochures describing a local church usually contain plenty of pictures of happy people involved in joyful activity a list of programs and interest groups sponsored by the church and almost no reference at all to theological convictions or denominational identity This suits the mood of our time but delivering on the promise is very demanding To develop and nurture many satisfying relationships in church in the midst of a mobile and transient society is an enormous challenge for staff and congregation This emphasis on voluntary deep friendships creates 17 challenges for a denomination Suppose someone were attracted to a church by the promise of the warmth and support of friendship and found that promise fulfilled If this person moved to a new community what would he or she look for in the new church Probably the attraction of friendship would be greater than location theology or denominational identity Positively this means that such people can potentially be drawn into fellowship in almost any church so long as it is able to provide the network of personal relationships that they are seeking Negatively this implies that people may easily be lost to a denomination through a move to a new community since denominational identity and loyalty will not be significant factors in church selection As a denomination we could benefit from an intentional networking strategy that will help church members find a church home within the denomination when they move CHOICES COMPARTMENTALIZATION AND PLURALISM Our affluence and the availability of many choices make it possible for us to approach life with a consumer attitude People who share interests buy similar products and join similar organizations What happens when you project the consequences of this consumer mindset to congregations Similar people will choose a particular congregation Presumably this will mean that local congregations will tend to become more internally homogeneous over time In the short term this may simultaneously make them more distinct from other congregations within the same denomination Will there also be a natural tendency toward long term denominational homogeneity Will congregations increasingly exercise the same choice that individuals do opting in or out of denominations according to their own changing character or preferences If so congregational growth may not necessarily be reflected in similar denominational growth Hiebert reminds us that the public and private spheres of life are increasingly compartmentalized in our society and he along with many others places religion in the private sphere This trend is

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/20/2/response-to-hiebert-pankratz.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: Response to Paul G. Hiebert
    few concrete steps are taken toward achieving those goals It is possible to take each of the remaining issues in turn and one by one demonstrate how they exist in and impact the Mennonite Brethren Church I will instead suggest several foundational principles that must guide us as we prepare for the decade ahead They are summarized as follows The principle of optimism faith This is a day to be optimistic While we are realistic in assessing both our present position and our potential ministry we need to affirm again that God s Spirit is still able to do far beyond all that we can ask or think The Mennonite Brethren church must never give up developing a vision as big and as comprehensive as the world in which it lives The principle of preparation The most important task facing us is spiritual preparation Now is the time for concentrated sessions of prayer for agreeing to be accountable to each other and for seeking the face of God systematically and persistently This means that our conventions need to be focused on prayer Our leaders need to come together to pray Our periodicals must facilitate vigils of prayer Along with this prayer will go accountability As leaders we will have to covenant to own the denominational vision We will have to call our people to account in the light of Scriptures 20 and in light of what we as Mennonite Brethren have agreed we want to do in building outposts of the kingdom The principle of planning accommodation We must be willing to change the ways we have traditionally practiced being the church Some examples Sunday school needs to change from age graded groupings to meeting the needs of target groups and providing support groups for various kinds of hurts We

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/20/2/response-to-hiebert-holm.html (2016-02-16)
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