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  • Direction: Preface to Theology: Christology and Theological Method
    the text it does not read like transcribed lectures The book does however maintain the character of lectures At times sections end in a way that opens up a topic for discussion and it contains reading lists and reflection questions for students These questions offer the ambitious reader the opportunity to engage the topic more thoroughly and they also give us a sense of how Yoder did the research for this work Although in places the book is dated most of it is still quite relevant In the first section Yoder uses the methodology of biblical theology to display how the early church engaged in a theological process rather than simply transmitting a collection of set data The second section explores the christological debates of the post apostolic period The final section describes and analyzes systematic treatment of christological themes with special attention given to the relation of christology and eschatology atonement and revelation In this final section Yoder gives clear concise explanations of different approaches to the themes that could serve as a valuable reference source We can easily imagine pointing a student or parishioner to a particular section if they for example had questions about different eschatological options or views of the atonement For those interested in Yoder and his work this book will be of interest for the way it displays his theological methodology And three aspects of his methodology stand out First throughout the book whether discussing Paul Origen Anselm or modern liberals and fundamentalists Yoder illuminates how the theologians context influenced their theology Secondly Yoder does not argue for a package of correct theology that Anabaptists and others must return to Rather in the ongoing theological process we should constantly return to Jesus For Yoder theology becomes legitimate only after it has been looped back

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/32/1/preface-to-theology-christology-and.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: Bulls, Bears and Golden Calves: Applying Christian Ethics in Economics
    a survey of public opinion to determine the nature of things Here the author seems to misinterpret the meaning of democracy which is based not just on public opinion but on majority rule tempered by minority rights and the rule of law Stapleford recognizes that God gave humans free will and quotes biblical passages in Romans and Genesis to support this contention But he also quotes passages which imply that scarcity does not exist if the will of God is followed If true this would negate the need to study and develop economic systems Despite the quote the author s point here seems to be to remind us that we cannot ignore religion in the pursuit of material wealth Other references are made to Bible passages on work Christian responsibility toward poverty the existence of private property and economic justice This chapter sets the tone and ends with the caveat that basic economics texts are valid in the technical sense and that Christian ethics establishes clear objectives and boundaries yet policy choices require additional hard reasoning It is hard to know what the author means by the last statement On Adam Smith s belief in the power of self interest the author misconstrues the emphasis of most market economics texts Few if any state as he does that unconstrained pursuit of self interest will promote the general welfare of society 31 Rather most texts agree with the author s true view of Adam Smith which recognizes conditions needed for self interest to promote society s welfare Still Stapleford s critique is a legitimate reminder that we must heed these conditions His example of commercial blood markets in the U S ignores the substantial voluntary blood banks that exist through the Red Cross which rely on values common to Christianity and other religions for donated blood Textbook emphasis on efficiency as a primary economic goal is one of Stapleford s legitimate concerns He reminds us that Christian ethics would take a more balanced view of society s economic goals However there need not be a dichotomy between Christianity and capitalism as is implied at the end of Chapter 3 55 56 Stapleford gives contradictory biblical views of private property quoting passages that justify its existence and later 63 quoting Psalm 24 1 to assert that everything belongs to God Stapleford reconciles the dichotomy by suggesting that property rights exist only in the intermediate term This is one example 134 of the difficulty of interpreting market economics from a Christian perspective Stapleford also attacks an emphasis on growth which ignores Christian values Recent books have also raised this concern but the ethical considerations involved need not be limited to Christian principles Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz raises similar concerns about globalization and the International Money Fund s blind enforcement of free market policies without regard to humanitarian and cultural stability in nations which need assistance Ethical considerations must not be ignored but should not necessarily be limited to a Christian perspective

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/32/1/bulls-bears-and-golden-calves-applying.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: The Politics of the Cross: The Theology and Social Ethics of John Howard Yoder
    and sympathetic reading of Yoder s enormous body of work The first part of the book argues that the central formative influences on Yoder s thought are his Anabaptist heritage and Karl Barth s theological method As a non Mennonite Carter provides an accurate portrayal of Yoder s role in the Mennonite identity debate including Yoder s relationship to Harold S Bender place in the Concern movement response to Reinhold Niebuhr s critique of pacifism and its influence on the Mennonite church and appropriation of sixteenth century Anabaptism as expressing the centrality of Jesus and discipleship as the ethical meaning of Christology Although it is now common to note Barth s influence on Yoder Carter provides the first extensive analysis of where Yoder s project is identical to similar to or a legitimate development of what Barth does in Church Dogmatics 89 Carter concludes that aspects of Yoder s thought such as his narrative approach to Scripture and rejection of natural theology derive from Barth s influence Carter similarly argues that other aspects of Yoder s thought such as his high Christology and emphasis on ethics as obedience originate in Yoder s Anabaptist heritage but are reinforced by Barth s theology The remainder of The Politics of the Cross attends to Yoder s Christology eschatology and ecclesiology which Carter describes respectively as the source context and shape of Yoder s social ethics Carter rightly emphasizes that a proper understanding of Yoder s social ethics depends on our understanding the interrelationship of his high Christology already not yet eschatology and believers church ecclesiology These chapters provide helpful analysis and intriguing suggestions For example Carter gives careful attention to Yoder s evaluation of the Nicene and Chalcedonian creeds Carter argues that Yoder s 136 position on the creeds is similar to George

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/32/1/politics-of-cross-theology-and-social.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: God and the Imagination: A Primer to Reading the Psalms in an Age of Pluralism
    The author s concern with our age of pluralism is taken up in the early pages of the first chapter where he contends that persons and communities of faith must assess the cultural images symbols and narratives that saturate our lives as well as develop counter images symbols and narratives that exhibit their own compelling transformative 137 power if only to sustain us through the living of these days and invite others to join us in the calling 3 The theme of pluralism is also reflected in the author s exploration of the diversity within Scripture itself for example ch 4 the dominion of human beings over the creation reflected in Psalm 8 and the placement of humans on par with the rest of creation in Psalm 104 This book in several ways presents a delightful introduction to important aspects of the Psalms It is well edited from its original oral incarnation and in general if not entirely it avoids overly technical language The studies of individual psalms are models of careful investigation They reflect what this reviewer believes to be a most essential methodology studying the Psalms both as poetry and as worship pieces within their ancient historical setting Yet the author also engages the texts in a thoughtful dialogue of significance for our own time and culture One quibble is that the initial chapter with its helpful introduction to the importance of poetry and imaginative reading gives less than could be hoped on the subject of metaphor itself Rather than understanding metaphor as an event which an author it would seem tosses into the realm of discourse to be played with and reconstrued by the reader or listener it is much preferable from this reviewer s perspective to view metaphor as an act of communication from author to

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/32/1/god-and-imagination-primer-to-reading.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: Ephesians
    pastoral and hermeneutical considerations of Ephesians Not all readers will be satisfied with his approach to the epistle s authorship He succinctly offers rationale on both sides of the debate and then essentially demurs from taking a position His arguments for such restraint however are well worth pondering For each of the thirteen sections of his detailed interpretation of the text of Ephesians a preview is offered including comments on the structure of the text and an outline followed by detailed explanatory notes Yoder Neufeld then considers each passage within its biblical context drawing together major topics and commenting upon their larger intent and background this is one of the more fruitful dimensions of the volume Reflection on the application of each passage within the life of the church follows One quibble I have with this series is that more attention is not given to the way in which sixteenth century Anabaptists read and interpreted the texts under consideration Following the detailed interpretation is an overall outline of the epistle a schematic translation and a variety of essays which backstop the interpretation of the text The usual resources close out the volume a map bibliography recommended resources index and a biographical description of Yoder Neufeld himself Several dimensions of this commentary stand out The interpretation of the household codes in Ephesians 5 21 6 9 is cogent and provocative Yoder Neufeld s prior research into the divine warrior allows him to engage in a rich reading of the armor of God motif in Ephesians 6 10 20 he sees it as a call to action equipping the church to wage God s work of truth justice and peace Throughout his interpretation Yoder Neufeld stresses that worship and work are to be inseparably united within the life of believers The Believers

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/32/1/ephesians.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: Christianity Incorporated: How Big Business Is Buying the Church
    attempting to preserve their ecclesial independence 11 The authors are very skeptical of the chaplains ability to accomplish this since chaplaincy compels churches to operate within a 140 certain structure of rules habits and practices created and sustained by non Christian powers Chaplaincy argues Budde and Brimlow accepts the assumptions of the institutions in which it operates and insulates itself from any critique that the gospel might level toward these powers 51 The church is not to instill its own practices and beliefs on the workplace but to bend to the prevailing economic order that creates the very haggard persons the church must now keep going Prophetic tendencies from the church are annihilated in the name of accommodation to the existing order Chaplaincy requires at minimum a base legitimation of the powers that be It accepts the particular formation which capitalism produces and is therefore incapable of recognizing what practices are forming Christian accounts of money 55 67 Herein for the authors lies the problem Christian formation is not occurring at the level of ecclesial authority but by an economic system that tells us to drink a lot of Pepsi and buy a lot of stuff Insofar as the church is willing to sell its resources to the highest bidder it blinds itself to its own unique habits and becomes but a pawn in service to the firm Rather than provide care for capitalism s causalities the authors argue that the church should be interrogating the very system that creates such casualties 13 Instead of functioning in the service of what the authors label the principalities and powers the church should be providing an alternative genuine means of existence for those who refuse to separate discipleship from their wallets Christians must envision a different world a world predicated not upon

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/32/1/christianity-incorporated-how-big.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: Current Research
    Knox s Self Awareness Reformed Theological Review 61 2 2002 85 101 TC The Thundering Scot John Knox the Preacher Westminster Theological Journal 64 1 2002 135 49 TC UFO Religion In Dictionary of Contemporary Religion in the Western World ed Chris Partridge and Douglas Groothuis 358 60 Leicester UK Inter Varsity 2002 TC Loewen Wendell Thirsty for the Reign A Kingdom Theology for Youth Ministry Part One Direction 31 1 2002 35 45 TC Loewen Wendell and Douglas B Miller On Ministry to Youth Spirituality and Christian Counterculture Direction 31 1 2002 101 108 TC Lumeya Nzash Agony out of Africa Reflections on War and Terror in the Congo Christian Leader January 2002 5 7 MBBS Marrs Heath and C Patrick A Return to Eye movement Training An Evaluation of the Reading Plus Program Reading Psychology An International Quarterly 23 4 2002 297 322 TC Miller Douglas B Anabaptism and the Theology of C S Lewis Mennonite Weekly Review 13 May 2002 6 TC C S Lewis A Friend of Mennonites Mennonite Brethren Herald 5 April 2002 24 25 TC A Visit with C S Lewis Christian Leader February 2002 4 10 TC 145 Mueller Derrick Virtues of an Effective Youth Worker Direction 31 1 2002 46 53 BC Neufeld Tim Postmodern Models of Youth Ministry Direction 31 2 2002 194 205 FPU Reed Rodney P Big Questions Bigger Faith Direction 31 1 2002 4 12 FPU Sawatsky Jarem Re learning How to Survive Conciliation Quarterly 21 3 2002 4 5 CMU A Shared JustPeace Ethic Uncovering Restorative Values VOMA Connections 10 spring 2002 3 4 CMU Thiessen Richard D Einwanderungszentralstelle Documents Mennonite Historical Society of BC Newsletter 8 summer 2002 1 3 4 CBC Peter P Epp 1864 1953 Canadian Mennonite Encyclopedia Online 2002 CBC Unger Walter Better than Riches A Christian Mind The Danger of Delay Rebuke and Flattery Sow Righteousness Standing on the Promises What s in a Name Rejoice June July August 2002 CBC Musical Recordings and Publications Funk Tony The Time of Eternity CD IKR012 The West Coast Mennonite Chamber Choir 2002 Compact disc CBC Masters Theses Students at Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary 2002 Duerksen Darren T A Missional Light in India A Missional Ecclesiology for Mennonite Brethren Churches in Andhra Pradesh India Eagle David Jesus eh The Saving Significance of the Cross the Hermeneutics of John D Caputo and the Canadian Context Isaak Andreas A Call for a Rebirth of a Resurrection Theology for the Renewal of the Church Nickel Sylvia G The Exercise of Power by Indigenous Missional Leadership for Biblically Based Community Building Doctoral Dissertations Huebner Chris K Unhandling History Anti Theory Ethics and the 146 Practice of Witness Doctor of Philosophy Theology and Ethics Durham NC Duke University 2002 Advisor Stanley Hauerwas Current Position Assistant Professor of Theology and Ethics Canadian Mennonite University Winnipeg Manitoba This dissertation is an attempt to develop a reading of Christian ethics as a nonmanipulative and nonpossessive mode of enquiry an epistemology of peace I

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/32/1/current-research.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: From the Editor: Baptism and Youth
    of the age range Typically among Mennonite Brethren baptism has been administered at the age of eleven or twelve How should we evaluate the fact that increasingly younger children are being baptized David Esau is concerned that believers baptism may be facing hard times Particularly as believers from other faith traditions enter the local church he urges us to consider several important reasons for the continued practice of believers baptism Sharon Johnson gives an account of the motivating factors and guiding values behind some newly developed educational resources on baptism and the Lord s Supper now available to the church Ritch Hostetler completes the collaborative work begun by Wendell Loewen in the spring issue Loewen provided an historical theological and biblical analysis for a kingdom theology of youth ministry Hostetler delves into youth ministry practice diagnosing barriers as well as offering pragmatic counsel for such a theology Randy Keeler alerts us to gifts from various developmental theorists gleaned from his ministry with college youth Tim Neufeld reports on a helpful grid for charting the field of postmodern youth ministry models This issue also includes a student essay by Eliza Mok Using Direction as a lens she responds to four important

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/31/2/editorial.html (2016-02-16)
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