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  • Direction: Issues in Church Life and Polity in Japan
    and decide matters affecting the life of the church In the church our process of decision making should be done in a democratic and congregational way directed strongly by His hands We open our hands toward guidance from the Lord and come to unity Group function Growing Together Growing Out In Japan people are primarily group oriented They give priority to group harmony and try to behave as expected by others sometimes hiding their honne true inner feeling They conform to elaborate rules of proper behavior on such occasions as gift giving weddings and funerals The more formal the occasion the more difficult people find it to disregard social conventions Groups operate generally on what is referred to as reference group or frame A reference group may be a family school company or a community which integrates individuals into one collective body Apart from relations based on a one to one relationship as can be observed among intimate friends a great majority of Japanese people belong to many of these reference groups at the same time Within these groups they develop a variety of human relationships Once a relationship is established a helping hand may be extended in various forms finding a job arranging an omiai a meeting of a marriageable couple or conducting a funeral 150 Conversely acceptance of such help often creates a feeling of obligation on the part of its receiver to do something in return This is partly because Japanese society expects that one should repay a favor Japanese make a clear distinction between the familiar uti insiders and the unknown soto outsiders and are not good at associating with the latter To an outsider Japanese may appear groupish and exclusive in relationships In the church group oriented Christians are strong in cultivating community but limit reciprocity to ingroup members Japanese habitually follow pluralistic behavioral patterns according to the occasion Their private self seems to be dominated by their public self which may be called group self Having a strong sense of place and duty they try to play the roles assigned to them and live up to the expectations of other members of their groups or organizations They usually place priority on their company s interest over their own They work hard suppressing their own egos sometimes sacrificing their private lives for their public roles Leadership Model Growing With In Japan people are expected to be humble and modest regardless of their age or social position Least favored are those who are aggressive self assertive and display their ability knowledge or wealth Above all humility and modesty are required of leaders As the saying goes The boughs that bear most hang lowest To be recognized as a leader one must while operating on the parent child principle act fairly with every member and be sensitive to each member s interest and ability It is vital for a leader to be able to assess what each of his subordinates can and cannot do He may need

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/20/2/issues-church-life-polity-japan.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: Church Growth
    Develops a master plan for entering a new community based on the Pauline cycle from Acts Some strengths its prioritization of evangelism church planting growth in mission its international flavor McGavran Donald Understanding Church Growth Eerdmans 1970 369 pp A basic text by the father of the modern church growth movement Deals with causes of church growth definitions helps hinderances revival sociological dimensions social structures receptivity homogeneous units and special kinds of church growth masses classes urban populations people groups Murren Doug The Baby Boomerang Regal 1990 283 pp A profound look into the heart and head of this enormous population bulge 77 million in US 7 million in Canada born between 1946 1964 Calls the church to change not its doctrine but its style and strategies in order to effectively reach a missing generation now returning to church in search of meaning spirituality and a solid value system for their children Posterski Donald C Reinventing Evangelism InterVarsity 1989 197 pp Provides fresh and dynamic insights for Christians concerned about retooling their evangelism in a way that engages our culture and returns believability to our message 155 Christians are called to leave their comfort zones overcome intimidation become meaning makers decode cultural Christianity personalize their witness embrace diversity use their minds and help people decide Sample Tex U S Lifestyles and Mainline Churches West minister 1990 178 pp One of the most helpful sociological analyses of America as the church enters the decade of the chaotic diverse 90s Highlighting the basic shift in cultural values from self denial to self fulfillment Describes and offers strategies for three diverse cultural lifestyles left baby boomers right traditionalists middle mainliners Shenk David W and Erwin R Stutzman Creating Communities of the Kingdom Herald 1988 218 pp A fresh and practical study on biblical

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/20/2/church-growth.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: Current Research
    is to Serve as a Primer on Prayer Matthew 6 9 13 Baehler Magdalena Journey Towards a Biblical Understanding of Grace and Its Implications for Pastoral Counseling Ephesians 2 1 10 Balzer Glen The Importance of Incarnational Ministry 1 Thessalonians 1 Bright Greg Tests of Knowing God 1 John Dyck Arthur Unmanaged Conflict The Healing and Nurturing Atmosphere of Love 1 Peter 3 8 12 Enns Donald Theology of Wholeness John Esau Kenneth R J Preparing the Crew in Choppy Waters Holistic Theological Education 1 Timothy 3 1 7 Gorzen Karin Can Depression Be Productive Jeremiah 20 7 18 Hershey Bergen Andrew Righteousness as an Essential of the Gospel Acts 2 4 158 Jones Wiebe Marilyn 3 John and Reentry Care of the Missionary Kid 3 John Larson Barbie What Does It Mean to Love God Mark 12 28 34 Morris Donald To Whom Do We Address Our Prayers John 14 8 17 Nettleton Ken Jesus and Evangelism A Dialogical Model John 4 1 30 Peters Clarence The Servant Leader Bearer of Justice Isaiah 42 1 9 Quiring Paul Song of Solomon A Celebration of Sexual Intimacy Song of Solomon Truex Evangeline Compassion in the Old Testament Reshaping Professionalism for

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/20/2/current-research.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: The Power of God in a Broken World
    an insightful readable and challenging expositional commentary Typical introductory issues the text s date recipients and author are given only brief treatment Penner holds to the traditional view of Pauline authorship He comments The burden of proof remains with those who contest this p 7 As to format the commentary sections follow themes such as God s Power and a Dynamic Church rather than chapter divisions Each exposition begins with the NIV text and concludes with several subjective questions ideal for personal or group study Penner has done particularly well with three portions of Ephesians First the ideas of election and predestination Eph 1 4 6 are dealt with in a refreshing way They are to be understood not in some impersonal theological fashion but as expressions of God s grace Although these concepts about God frequently raise theological debate and challenge our intellect beyond its limits we must nevertheless appreciate them as rich blessings from God pp 14 15 Secondly the reality of the Christian s involvement in spiritual warfare is given the importance it deserves He writes One great cause of spiritual failure among Christians is that we do not realize we are at war p 151 Penner describes the powers as personal spiritual powers including also impersonal political economic cultural etc forces p 71 which may be evil or used in evil ways Another area treated with practical sensitivity is the husband wife relationship Eph 5 22ff Certain segments of the evangelical church still promote the notion of the husband s rule over his submissive wife a chain of command supposedly evidenced in verses 22 23 Penner reminds us that Paul focuses the bulk of his discussion on the behavior of husbands to their wives His conclusion Genuine love will always move a husband to treat his

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/20/2/power-of-god-in-broken-world.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: Peter C. Hiebert: He Gave Them Bread
    for this intimacy of tone Prieb s many years of college teaching in English literature account for the simplicity and clarity of style which mark this biography Relatively brief Prieb s biographical account encompasses P C Hiebert s many public activities and achievements with a remarkable sense of breadth To many Mennonites Peter C Hiebert is known only as one of the progenitors of MCC in the wake of World War I and the famine crisis in postwar Russia Prieb recounts this riveting chapter in Hiebert s experience and service devoting special attention to Hiebert s own family heritage and developing Christian convictions as preparatory But Hiebert was also an influential educator who helped to shape the lives of many young Mennonites in the USA as a teacher and student evangelist He 161 together with Henry Lohrenz worked hard towards the establishment of Tabor College during the early decades of this century Prieb s own lifelong involvement with this college has enabled him to treat both the arduous struggles and singular contributions of P C Hiebert in the early history of Tabor College with fine sensitivity and care Hiebert was also crucially involved in the MCC program of immigration and resettlement of Mennonites in Paraguay and Brazil 1929 30 and in the creation of the MCC Peace Committee in 1939 The author s account of Hiebert s pioneer contributions towards the development of civilian service for conscientious objectors during World War II and towards the launching of the Mennonite mental health and hospital movement just after the War pays further tribute to the high vision and dedication of this extraordinary leader While truly ecumenical P C Hiebert remained involved throughout his life in the work of his own church Mennonite Brethren and competently served its conferences in a variety of

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/20/2/peter-c-hiebert-he-gave-them-bread.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: Ambassador to His People
    work World War I interrupted his education as he was drafted into the Forestry Service an alternative service program where he quickly advanced to administrative leadership Shortly after the November Revolution in 1917 Klassen attended the Mennonite Congress in Ohrloff where he emerged as an ambassador of his people called to represent nearly 100 000 Mennonites in Russia to civil authorities during the difficult years of civil war typhus epidemics drought and famine 1920 22 He played a major role in opening doors for MCC relief Then from 1922 to 1925 he helped thousands of Mennonite emigrants find new homes in Canada He and his wife living in the Mennonite Center in Moscow escaped to Canada just before emigration closed in 1928 CANADA 1928 1945 In Canada Klassen was quickly put to work on the Board of Colonization and other MCC agencies His first task was to collect travel debts for emigrants totaling about two million dollars a task he completed in 1946 As World War II began Klassen became involved in negotiating with public officials in Canada to arrange an alternative service program and to make preparations for MCC relief work after the war He traveled widely in Canada and the United States promoting peace and service EUROPE 1945 54 The authors remark History celebrates the great men who moved armies and established kingdoms But who will dare to move hordes of homeless sick and decrepit people left in the wake of these military feats On 163 August 6 1945 the day Americans dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima the MCC sent Klassen to Europe to investigate human need With a spirit of compassion long suffering patience and quiet determination he returned to Europe and Russia on six major missions during the next eleven years His mission was to

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/20/2/ambassador-to-his-people.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: Mennonite Martyrs: People Who Suffered for Their Faith 1920-1940
    in the 1920s he began collecting stories and experiences about those who 164 were persecuted sent to labor camps or prison for their faith His efforts resulted in the publication of two volumes entitled Mennonitische Maertyrer John B Toews eminent historian and scholar of Mennonites under Czars and Soviets has translated over sixty of these martyr stories About fifty are from the first the rest from the second volume Readers familiar with church history will inevitably be reminded of such books as Foxe s Book of Martyrs 1563 van Braght s Martyrs Mirror 1660 Norwood s Strangers and Exiles 2 vols 1969 and the Hefleys Christian Martyrs of the 20th Century 1979 While Norwood and the Hefleys cover some of the same time period and the territory dealt with by Toews there is no evident overlap of stories Thus Toews book supplies unique information of men and women of the faith It informs us who these people were how and where they suffered and in many cases how they died Reports have it that they literally experienced what the heroes of the faith experienced long ago They went about in sheepskins and goatskins destitute persecuted and mistreated the world was not worthy of them They wandered in deserts and mountains and in caves and holes in the ground Heb 11 37 38 Style and language are uncomplicated Families with teenagers and lay people in churches will appreciate that But the many letters and comments from the martyrs themselves are primary sources for the scholar and researcher The alphabetical listing of biographies and a short glossary are helpful tools What some readers will miss is an index what others may note are the typographical errors But the stories remain the main thing These are stories about Mennonite martyrs That could suggest

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/20/2/mennonite-martyrs-people-who-suffered.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: The Christian and Civil Disobedience
    Indeed as governmental policies expand at a time when they reflect less and less of a Christian ethos there will be a growing emphasis on the need for and practice of civil disobedience Redekop cites biblical accounts such as those of Daniel and Peter as examples of civil disobedience He discusses biblical injunctions e g Romans 13 calling for subordination to the state Given these balancing principles the author asks when civil disobedience is appropriate In response he provides 22 requirements that must be met in order to justify civil disobedience For instance one must seek a changed situation benefiting the affected class of people rather than only a personal exemption and one must willingly accept any resulting punishment Civil disobedience is not to be taken lightly Redekop emphasizes the distinction between the conscience of the individual and that of the community He concludes that while it is generally impossible to obtain agreement of an entire church or even a majority of the church civil disobedience should not generally be an individual matter Rather as a means of tempering individual radicalism there should be a nucleus of persons in the church who are devoted to the cause From a psychological perspective the book could be 166 strengthened by noting Kohlberg s moral development theory and Milgram s obedience research Kohlberg argued that a law and order mentality is a middle level approach to morality and that those who develop more fully form decisions on the basis of individually defined universal ethics While Kohlberg had no absolute reference point for these universal ethics which is available for the Christian his theory demonstrates the tension between law and morality Research by Milgram illustrates the potency of legitimate authority Many of his subjects complied with instructions to administer potentially fatal shocks when requested

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/20/2/christian-and-civil-disobedience.html (2016-02-16)
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