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  • Direction: The Bible and the Church
    life Most of the titles reveal his biblical interest the great majority of them were written for the church and offered in denominational or college publications Four chapters are devoted to preaching including one by Ewert himself which illustrates his text centered approach to pulpit ministry Elmer Martens analyzes two types of sermon structures from Isaiah 40 Additional essays by John Regehr and Frank C Peters round out the impression that this book is a tribute to a preacher Another four chapters deal with specific biblical issues George Shillington reviews the history of parable interpretation and suggests that the function of parables is to elicit response from their hearers who are drawn into the story as participants David Schroeder proposes that loosing and binding take their meaning from Jesus role as Saviour and Lord and that they are enjoined upon the church as a discerning community loosing and binding what is already bound in heaven John E Toews takes Ewert s efforts on behalf of women s freedom to exercise their gifts a step further by attentive examination of 1 Timothy 2 11 15 In perhaps the most provocative essay in the book he argues for a family rather than church setting and suggests a less restrictive reading of the text thus dissolving objections from this text to women s ministry Similar conclusions are drawn by Herbert Swartz in a biblical theological survey Of more general biblical interest is Bruce Metzger s survey of the editing of the Greek New Testament from its earliest Pauline collections to modern critical texts Hans Kasdorf writes on Translating God s Word as Mission to the World The book s only female contributor Esther Wiens urges greater attention to public reading of scripture and offers practical help in preparation and delivery The work of

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/18/2/bible-and-church.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: The World at War, the Church at Peace: A Biblical Perspective
    and commitment to biblical non resistance Bonk argues that it is wrong for God s people today to destroy the life of another person He bases his study on the suppositions that the arena of human conflict is merely a shadow of the cosmological conflict between God and Satan and that the position of the Church is in the world but not of the world These assumptions are classic expressions of the anabaptist world view Although Bonk identifies the central argument as the taking of human life his fundamental concern is clearly the role of the Christian in relation to the State particularly in time of conflict Bonk directs his review of the Old and New Testaments the Early Church and the major traditions of the Reformation toward the question of whether Christians should participate in war Little or no space is given to personal violence and conflict resolution Personal and social issues are treated as if they were one and the same The biggest problem with this book is the organization of material The historical discussion begins with the Early 120 Church and then reaches back through the Scriptures Next Bonk addresses the subject of the Christian and the

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/18/2/world-at-war-church-at-peace-biblical.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: Historical Endnotes
    known for his history of the Mennonite Brethren Church the standard English work to this day His papers relate to his wide ranging historical interests peace activities and inter Mennonite associations Both collections are available for research BOOK ON MENNONITES IN POLAND AND PRUSSIA TO BE RELEASED SOON Fall of 1989 is the projected publication date for Peter J Klassen s book A Homeland for Strangers An Introduction to Mennonites in Poland and Prussia Dr Klassen professor at California State University Fresno California has visited the regions of Poland once inhabited by Mennonites several times in recent years He is a leading authority on this chapter of Mennonite history This handsome book illustrated with both black and white as well as color photographs will provide a brief historical introduction to the Mennonite story in Poland and Prussia as well as a guide for those interested in visiting Poland today The book will be published by the Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies in Fresno 122 MENNONITE MARTYRS TRANSLATION AVAILABLE IN FALL Another volume anticipated for the fall of 1989 is Dr John B Toews abridged translation of Mennonitische Martyrer by A A Toews First published as a two volume work in 1949 and 1954 this book is a collection of accounts of Mennonites who suffered and died in Russia following the Bolshevik revolution Dr Toews a professor at Regent College in Vancouver British Columbia has made available to a new generation of readers this moving testimony to steadfastness in the face of persecution The one volume translation will be published by Kindred Press as part of the Perspectives on Mennonite Life and Thought series SYMPOSIUM ON POLISH PRUSSIAN MENNONITE HISTORY On July 22 24 1990 a major symposium on the history of the Mennonites in Poland and Prussia will be held

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/18/2/historical-endnotes.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: From the Editors: Christian Ethics
    with four case studies designed to illuminate Christian ethical reflection and response They embrace questions of life style integrity and relationships I gratefully acknowledge the contribution of Elmer Martens in developing these case studies and soliciting and editing the responses Ed Boschman explores the issue of sexual ethics in the ministry While our denomination restricts senior pastoral roles to males his reflections seem to be easily translatable into situations where women serve as pastors Elmer Thiessen responds to the query What right do Christians have to address the ethics of society at large Herb Kopp traces the process of congregational ethical reflections in the church which he pastors And Howard Loewen leads us through the development of Twentieth Century Christian ethical thought One would do well to read the responses to the case studies in the light of Loewen s article This August Mennonite Brethren church leaders will meet at Normal Illinois to study and debate the biblical theological and church polity dimensions of the issues of baptism Lord s Supper and the ministry of women Elias Wiebe and Gus Quadrizius contribute to that discussion from the vantage points of a Christian educator and a pastor respectively With this issue

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/18/1/editorial.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: Case Study: The Pink Slip and the DMV
    Setting out the correct information might mean his relationship with the sellers could be sticky After two days he returned to present the cash in exchange for the pink slip Cleaver saw that the pink slip was made out to Tony Atwell He asked Gonzalez about it Oscar explained We purchased the vehicle only a few months ago It was not clear whether our daughter could handle the stick shift and now we have found that she could not The license tag was good till December and so we haven t registered the vehicle but there will be no problem at the DMV when you present your pink slip 4 Cleaver knew that when he registered the vehicle he would need to pay 6 5 percent state sales tax By not reporting and registering the Gonzalez family had evaded this cost Still he was not sufficiently in touch with regulations to know whether there would be a problem with the proposed procedure When he stepped to the DMV reception desk the lady asked cordially What can we do for you As she took the papers from Cleaver s hand she began ticking off a checklist and in the process holding up the pink slip she asked You bought the car from this man Cleaver said neither yes nor no She assumed silence meant affirmation and directed him to aisle 5 Cleaver stood at the end of a line waiting What might have happened had he indicated that the Honda had been bought from a man other than Atwell the registered owner Setting out the correct information might mean he thought that Gonzalez would need to pay the sales tax plus possible penalties his own busy schedule would be interrupted and certainly delayed and his relationship with the sellers could turn

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/18/1/case-study-pink-slip-and-dmv.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: A Slip in Act or Character? - So What's the Difference?
    1982 33 Is not that the issue here truth and integrity Did Mr Cleaver act in a manner consistent with a Christian profession which assumes a life of truthfulness cf Ps 26 3 Eph 6 14 1 John 3 19 in accordance with Christ the Truth John 1 14 17 14 6 However some might object to this questioning of Mr Cleaver s character After all he never actually said that he did not purchase the car from Mr Atwell Cleaver was at fault Mr Gonzalez was responsible for failure to pay taxes Yet is it right to cover up the deceit of someone else I can well remember sitting in a principal s office being asked whether I knew who had stolen a test from one of my teachers Although I knew I took the fifth and kept my mouth shut I escaped but was I truthful Definitely not and I knew it Mr Cleaver s discomfort demonstrates that he knew it as well Still some might wonder What difference does it make It was not Cleaver s fault he had been trapped by the circumstances Mr Gonzalez had initially withheld information and if the DMV clerks really wanted to know the truth they should have insisted on a clear answer Rationalizations are a dime a dozen The fact is that Mr Cleaver deliberately withheld truth The Apostle Peter instructs that Christians should not suffer as murderers thieves criminals or even as meddlers 1 Pet 4 15 The definition of meddlers allotriepiskopos is somewhat obscure but it may refer to a concealer of stolen goods Arndt Gingrich a description particularly apt here Clearly Christians in almost all cases except see Acts 4 19 5 29 should obey government regulations Rom 13 1 5 including the payment of taxes see Rom 13 6 7 Through his inaction Mr Cleaver effectively aided a criminal activity The pragmatic question still begs to be answered What should he have done One may sympathize with Cleaver s plight If he admits that he did not buy the car from the person named on the pink slip then Gonzalez the seller will be in some trouble Cleaver could rationalize If I tell the truth 7 he ll hate me and I ll never have the opportunity to witness to him But in reality by covering up the truth Mr Cleaver has already witnessed to Mr Gonzalez He has demonstrated that Christian commitment does not affect how one lives The apostles call not to conform to the world s warped values stands in judgment over Cleaver s actions see Rom 12 2 1 Pet 1 14 1 John 2 15 17 Should he have told the truth and risked Mr Gonzalez wrath The issue may not be that clear cut John Howard Yoder in his fine book on Christian nonresistance challenges Christians to explore all the options before making an ethical decision 25 36 One option was for Cleaver to tell the truth thereby causing Gonzalez

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/18/1/slip-in-act-or-character-so-whats.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: Weighing Pros and Cons
    s relationships to God to Gonzalez to the state and to his other responsibilities A healthy relationship to God might imply obedience to God s laws honesty concern for the Christian reputation in the world and love for others A healthy relationship to Gonzalez might imply friendliness integrity a desire to eliminate tension and concern that Gonzalez view the Christian faith positively A healthy relationship to the state might suggest openness honesty a concern that it receive its rightful due and a concern that it act justly A healthy relationship to Cleaver s other responsibilities might imply ensuring time for family work church and leisure The effort to keep all relationships healthy would involve Cleaver in some tension for some of them seem to pull in opposite directions For example the relationships to God and the state call for honesty whereas the relationships to Gonzalez and his calendar family and work call for minimal friction 11 All three of these ethical bases moral law reason and relationships are evident in the Bible The Decalogue the many Old Testament calls to obedience and the commands of Jesus and Paul exemplify an ethic of moral law Abraham Jacob Joshua David Solomon and Paul offer examples of a reasoned weighing of pros cons and consequences The covenants with God mediated by Noah Abraham Moses David Jeremiah and Jesus and Paul s stress on faith point to relationships underlying their ethic The Bible s use of all three ethical bases suggests that none alone is wholly adequate that each of them may rightly be used within the will of God and that they may complement each other or may be used together in ethical decisions Cleaver might well be advised to combine all three approaches in his effort to be true to God Gonzalez the state and his other responsibilities This does not mean that moral law reason and relationships are easily interchangeable or always equal in value In my view the approach most basic to God s nature most fundamental to the Bible most like Jesus and therefore most normative for ethics is that of relationships Fundamentally the Bible is the story of God s repeated efforts to create a people in relationship with God The covenants with Noah and Abraham promise God s faithfulness without laws to accompany them The decalogue and the rest of the Mosaic Law are given after and are based on the deliverance from Egypt The Old Testament calls to obedience are given within the larger framework of God s covenant relationship with Israel Likewise the commands of Jesus Paul and John in the New Testament are based on Jesus saving work they presupposed a prior trust relationship of the believer with God The larger biblical story portrays God as a relational God whose people are to respond to God and to one another as God does with right relationships A relational ethic centers on two things integrity and love Integrity speaks of transparency straightness openness a lack

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/18/1/weighing-pros-and-cons.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: Case Study: Global-Village Living
    the car with Jeanne almost all the time and she could run most of the errands and drive to church for her work there Just seven years ago Dalton remembered their real turning point in thinking about the ethics of consumption They had sold or given away almost all their possessions before serving as short term missionaries in Ghana Jeanne had commented at the time on the symbolic value of reducing Christmas tree ornaments to the essentials a star a few bright tree balls and a small crèche which fit in one little box Altogether they had taken only nine barrels of things including the needs for Jim who had been 2 and the little girl needs of Susan then 8 The Methodist Church had advertised for someone to assist in the establishment of a new management system for the church in Ghana In addition they wanted an educational missionary to teach English and geography Dalton and Jeanne decided to go It made sense to them Some friends in the church where they were members had been very supportive But many friends from the company said they thought the Weisses were crazy Tim Adams also at the plant had told Dalton in straight terms You re thirty one now You ll be thirty four when you get back That s precisely 15 the time span in which we re picked for eventually taking top level jobs You ll miss out Dalton remembered his and Jeanne s doubts about going along with their joy and sense of release The company gave Dalton a leave of absence It certainly gave us a new perspective selling the car and almost everything else Jeanne had told folk since then We discovered we could live at a very simple level even with the kids They had fun too We ate well and enjoyed life without cars TVs or movies Our house was nice but plain Working with Christians in Ghana taught us that we Americans do need to listen to others When the Weisses had returned to the United States they remained conscious of world hunger and other issues that transcended national life In Arizona where the company had provided Dalton with a job comparable to the one he had left they found a church deeply involved in study and work about such issues Dalton found he could ride a bike to work and they fell almost naturally into a simpler style of life than most families around them When Dalton received a promotion and a transfer to a suburb of Los Angeles the family had looked for another Methodist church with concerned people and interest in global questions and Christian responses Jeanne put the matter simply We believe that people have a responsibility to act with respect for all God s creation and with respect for one another The church they found was a large one but the group within it committed to discovering ways of being ecologically responsible was small Ten to fifteen

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/18/1/case-study-global-village-living.html (2016-02-16)
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