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  • Direction: 1-2 Peter, Jude
    being responsible for 1 Peter and J Daryl Charles Professor of Religion at Taylor University handling 2 Peter and Jude As to specifics of each writer s contribution Waltner adopts fairly orthodox views on the first Petrine epistle relative to authorship place of writing Rome purpose date of writing 62 64 and the nature and circumstances of the readers A distinctive attribute is found in the Text in the Life of the Church sections as Waltner inveterately calls attention to the prominent place given to 1 Peter in Anabaptist understandings both in the sixteenth century setting and in later history Among other points he stresses as arising from 1 Peter are the inclusiveness of the true Israel rather than a contrast between an Old Israel and a New Israel 77 the persecution adverted to by Peter as comprising malicious gossip by neighbors or possibly a legal accusation 85 or verbal abuse 95 see also 140 more than actual physical torment of the readers Peter s theology of the cross reference to the constant interweaving of eschatology and ethics an embrace of the newer understanding of the household codes in reaction to an older view of their institutionalization see particularly the essay on the topic 180 83 and a not uncritical acceptance of J H Elliott s theory in Home for the Homeless with its sociologically defined perspective on homelessness in 1 Peter Turning to the commentary on 2 Peter and Jude it is this reviewer s distinct impression that Charles wishes to assist in raising the neglected second Petrine epistle which he insists was penned by the apostle whose name it bears shortly before his martyrdom 211 to a higher level of recognition He felicitously points to the difference between 2 Peter as addressed to a Greco Roman Gentile world

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/30/2/1-2-peter-jude.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: Current Research
    community This thesis contends that the riddle of Hebrews lack of community fit is due to a conceptual flaw Beginning with Franz Overbeck 1882 there has been a tendency to assess early Christian texts as nonliterary unlike later patristic texts Deemed nonliterary they are thereby thought to document the situation within which they were written For Hebrews this has resulted in numerous reconstructions of its historical setting None however has proven satisfactory This lack of consensus casts doubt on the appropriateness of ruling out Hebrews essential literary character Moreover the explanations used to justify the unique nonliterary character of early Christian literature are not compelling Thus the probability of Hebrews literary character increases The literary texts written by Irenaeus Clement of Alexandria and Tertullian are more likely comparable to Hebrews These patristic texts were produced in the late second century before the shape of orthodoxy became fixed A survey of representative scholarly literature shows a low expectation of retrieving from these early patristic texts an unambiguous profile of the author s ideological community of the text s occasion or of its audience Thus it would be unwarranted to expect Hebrews to be more representative of its situation Given the probability

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/30/2/current-research.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: From the Editors: Education and Theology: Essays in Honor of Walter Unger
    Direction he enthusiastically volunteered to make a contribution What was one to do without spoiling the surprise We followed Mennonite Brethren tradition and consulted within the brotherhood and came to the conclusion that a contribution from Walter would not only be valuable but would also help to keep him from getting suspicious about what was going on We were not disappointed in this hope I am sure that readers will find his discussion of the Third Quest for the historical Jesus in Evangelical Versions of Jesus to be both enjoyable and enlightening Other contributors of course hewed more closely to the theme George Schmidt a longtime friend and colleague shares little known information and insights about Walter s career in The Measure of Five Decades An Insider s Tribute to Walter Unger Carlin Weinhauer offers a pastor s perspective seasoned with years of Christian college experience in asking the question The Bible College Whose Vision Is It The historical research of Bruce Guenther Monuments to God s Faithfulness Mennonite Brethren Bible Schools in Western Canada 1913 1960 helps us to reflect significantly on the Mennonite Brethren contribution to the Canadian Bible school movement in which Dr Unger has been an important participant for several decades In Searching for a Safe Landing another historical issue of current importance is placed before us James Pankratz helps us to think about the possible impact on postsecondary education of the divestiture decision of the Mennonite Brethren North American General Conference In recent years there has been a considerable amount of attention paid to mentoring in business religion and education Ron Penner another of Walter Unger s colleagues gives us guidance on this issue Some of the writing as mentioned above steps outside the 3 educational theme In addition to the piece by Unger himself

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/30/1/editorial.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: The Measure of Five Decades: An Insider's Tribute to Walter Unger
    must have thought Which courses do we teach 6 Who are the teachers Can we keep everyone from both schools Where do we put all the students It became evident quite quickly that the new cooperative model was attracting considerably more students than what the combined totals of both schools had ever been Added to this happy outcome there was the clear fact that about ten percent of the new student body were from non Mennonite churches and families This was truly remarkable because until that time neither school had attracted with very few exceptions anyone but its own This was widely interpreted as evidence of the Lord s approval upon the breaking down of walls and the positive testimony to idealistic young people and the watching larger community Some interpreters even thought that the Lord was saying Now that these members of the same family are finally accepting each other I can begin to entrust some of my other children to them It should be noted that the percentage of these others has continued to climb so that in Wally s last year as President it is at forty nine percent In the midst of all this euphoria and good will Wally Unger Academic Dean had a job to do Basically it was to get the school ready for a new day in postsecondary Christian Education in B C For years CBI was the only school at this level in the world in which MBs and GCs 7 worked together with growing trust and harmony to prepare people for a life of discipleship in the contemporary world a short form of Columbia s Mission Statement And Wally had the privilege honor and responsibility of providing primary leadership He was indeed together with President P R Toews God s man for a time such as this The school continued to grow and reached a new record enrollment of 266 in 1975 The mood was optimistic and energies and resources appeared to be abundant Then a time of testing set in President Toews resigned in the Spring of 1977 and the Board of Directors proceeded precipitously to fill the position with a person who understood too little about the history and the ethos of the school His somewhat limited interpersonal skills prevented him from bridging that deficit and gaining the confidence and support of the faculty and staff It was Wally s challenge to make the best of this situation He served as go between as interpreter and at the same time as captain of our team As is always the case for those in the gap he had to live with questions and misunderstandings from both sides It was a harrowing time for him When the new President s increasingly inevitable resignation came early in January of 1978 Wally was handed the leadership as Acting President 8 The Lord used his leadership gifts and his clear vision 9 of the mission and potential of the school to restore hope and confidence on site However because the unrest and instability at CBI had been reported far and wide churches homes and prospective students appeared to take a wait and see attitude The enrollment dipped drastically reaching its low point in 1986 with below 150 full time students registered the levels of the 1970s were not reached again until the early 1990s A true tribute to Wally s leadership is the fact that the support of the Conferences held strong and stable during this time he was able to sell the vision of the school run a church related and spiritually transforming program and keep the books balanced Not a mean feat THE EIGHTIES Wally s interim presidency came to an end when Dr Roy Just previously President of Tabor College in Kansas was called to fill that office in 1980 Wally resumed his ministry as Academic Dean at that time The two Just and Unger formed a visionary and productive team The first major challenge they embarked on was to move the relationship between the two Conferences to a full partnership Over ten years of common cause trust and solid bridges begged the question Is there any reason why we cannot finally have the wedding The college s 1999 2000 catalogue p 70 gives an excellent description of this historic event In 1982 this cooperative effort was expanded into a covenant whereby the Mennonite Brethren invited the Conference of Mennonites to unite in the ownership and development of CBI not merely its operation At the historic June 11 1982 joint convention the first inter Mennonite Bible Institute in North America was established to actively promote and teach a strong evangelical Anabaptist Mennonite theology The next Just Unger project was to achieve formal recognition and accreditation for Columbia s mission and program In 1984 the Board and the CBI Society gave authorization to apply for accreditation with AABC the North America wide accrediting association for Bible Colleges a name change from Institute to College was also given clearance By far the greatest burden in this pursuit fell on Wally s shoulders 9 First came a very detailed but extremely helpful Self Study whose end product covered several hundred pages then a campus visit by colleagues from other colleges finally all the paper work associated with Candidate Status granted in 1985 and several encounters with the Commission on Accreditation at Annual General Meetings of the association Full accreditation by AABC was granted in October 1991 a major accomplishment for Wally and his team It also proved to be 10 foundational for moving the college to the next level of growth and recruitment potential In the process it also became obvious that provincial government authorization to grant the degrees for which AABC was accrediting the college was needed to complete the loop This was achieved on June 26 1987 when the B C Legislative Assembly passed the Columbia Bible College Act Early on in this decade in the midst of all this activity the

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/30/1/measure-of-five-decades-insiders-tribute.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: The Bible College: Whose Vision Is It?
    there is a serious discrepancy between the educational expectations of the sending constituency and that of the receiving college student attrition will occur It should go without saying when Bible is in the name the Bible should be the predominate focus of that institution Faculty and Support Staff The educating ethos of a college is shaped by faculty and support staff If that ethos is not cradled in the vision of the constituency a breech of trust occurs and disintegration takes place This usually takes place over time even years but take place it will Specifically a mutuality of vision and expected outcomes must exist between teaching faculty and college constituency The constituency counts for too much to only be humored or in a worst case scenario ignored in these matters The Bible is finally a layperson s book The role of constituency lay leadership in matters of faith and practice must not be trivialized Laypeople who love the Bible respond positively to faculty who love the Bible to faculty who are lifelong learners and obviously down the road in their personal pilgrimage with a sustained commitment to Jesus Christ Ivory tower faculty disengaged from the constituency do not promote the well being of a Bible college Jesus Christ is the heart and soul of the Bible Jesus pursued teaching of the disciples in the communities and synagogues of Palestine There were come apart times but peripatetic teaching within the life of the community was the style of schooling received by the disciples Jesus exposure in the community also translated into large crowds attending his more general teaching times Faculty access to churches and the general constituency is not easily achieved But this must not be allowed to minimize its importance and commitment for creatively finding ways to achieve access Jesus was passionate in teaching and compassionate in life situations What student is going to become excited about attending a Bible college if the faculty has little passion for the words from God and the proclamation of those words Theological studies must not only be central but vibrant and winsome in presentation For some Bible colleges in a quest to be more relevant increasing 17 curricular time is spent in the study of sociological and psychological models for an understanding of life s ultimate issues It appears that in the application of some of these courses ways are sought whereby sinful habits can be managed rather than counsel given calling for confession and repentance These studies thought valuable in secular educational circles and now in many Bible colleges may prove to be a detour the church and the Bible college can ill afford to traverse In a similar vein focusing on the church E Glenn Wagner laments Our problem in today s church runs deeper than a mere infatuation with the latest technique or craze For the past few decades we have increasingly turned away from biblical and theological models and clamored after sociological and psychological ones While we continue

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/30/1/bible-college-whose-vision-is-it.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction:
    within the denomination Their most immediate impact was experienced within the congregational life of churches as young people returned home from Bible school as a veritable army of trained lay workers for involvement in Sunday schools youth work and music and church leadership For almost two decades beginning in 1930 the annual enrollment in MB Bible schools equaled approximately seven to eight percent of the entire membership within MB churches in western Canada during the 1940s the total annual enrollment in MB schools in western Canada ranged between 540 and 610 Over time the Bible schools created a common religious experience a higher level of biblical literacy and an enthusiasm and 26 predisposition for participation in the life of the church This was an ongoing source of vitality and energy for local congregations and helped shape the ethos of the entire denomination The Bible schools also left a distinct mark on the pastoral ministry of MB churches For almost a century leaders and pastors in MB churches had been selected from the ranks of the brethren after giving evidence of interest good character and ability The Bible schools practical courses and ministry work assignments provided an ideal environment for identifying prospective candidates for ministry By the beginning of the 1930s many of the new candidates for ministry within congregations had received prior training in a Bible school The 1950s witnessed the beginning of a shift within the denomination away from the use of multiple laypastors within a congregation towards a more professionally trained and paid pastorate Congregations especially urban ones increasingly expected younger English speaking pastors to have completed some level of theological education For many this included Bible school Although it was not an initial purpose of MB Bible schools to precipitate a move towards a more professionalized ministry they contributed albeit unwittingly towards the process 7 Virtually all MB missionaries had roots within the Bible school movement Interest in missions was promoted by visiting missionary speakers missionary conferences prayer bands and involvement in summer Vacation Bible School ministry programs Many prospective missionaries gained their first experience in evangelism and even cross cultural ministry during their time at Bible school The missionary impulse transcended both loyalty to conference structures and the maintenance of the linguistic and cultural status quo BBI and WBI in particular served as centers from which new outreach initiatives emerged e g Western Children s Mission and the Africa Mission Society that were more flexible independent and responsive to the missionary mandate than the slow moving German speaking conference structures THE GERMAN LANGUAGE The Bible schools were intended to serve as agents of cultural retention by grounding successive generations in the Mennonite faith language and way of life 8 They instead became crucibles in which particularly the children of immigrants redesigned the relationship between faith and culture Central to understanding this dynamic is the issue of language because of its direct connections to broader discussions emerging within the denomination These concerned strategies for youth and Christian education the understanding of mission and outreach and the 27 prospect of assimilation within Canadian society The Bible schools were among the first MB institutions in Canada to make the transition from German to English and thereby became catalysts for similar changes within church life Although retention of the German language was a matter of concern among Kanadier MBs in North America at the beginning of the twentieth century a gradual transition towards the use of English was already underway This process was interrupted in Canada by the influx of Russlaender during the 1920s whose leaders stressed the retention of the Muttersprache as the language of church and faith 9 Until the late 1930s German was the primary language of instruction in all Mennonite Bible schools In very few schools was English used as a language of instruction from the beginning see e g BBI But the primacy of German as a language of instruction began to change during the 1930s and by the 1940s English had replaced German as the primary language of instruction in many though not all schools The pace of transition varied somewhat depending partly on the availability of bilingual teachers on the pressure exerted by students and the views of church leaders within a region The issue of language transition in MB Bible schools was intricately linked to the matter of missions and outreach The desire on the part of enthusiastic mission minded students to obtain training in order to minister in non German non Mennonite settings mitigated against a rigid insistence on the preservation of the German language The pressure for English language instruction from students occasionally became intense For example in 1935 an entire class confronted the teachers at BBI with an ultimatum threatening to go elsewhere for their training if there were not more English language courses 10 By helping to facilitate both the linguistic transition towards English and a broader view of mission the Bible schools undermined the cultural and religious separatism of the MB denomination and accelerated their integration within Canadian society CRITICISM OF THE SCHOOLS Despite their significant role within the denomination not everyone was uncritical about the impact of the Bible schools One common cluster of complaints centered around the low academic standards exacerbated outside the classroom by inadequate library resources and inside the classroom by poorly educated teachers by simplistic dogmatic answers to complex theological questions and by a general environment which if not openly anti intellectual prioritized personal piety and 28 proper deportment above critical thinking Without minimizing the legitimacy of such complaints the Bible schools nevertheless did prepare more than a few individuals for advanced study when few other educational options were available A second cluster of complaints bemoaned the Evangelical theological influences within the Bible schools which minimized the systematic study of MB historical and theological distinctives The early and ongoing influence of Pietism among the MBs created a natural compatibility with the priorities of Evangelical Protestants in North America Although separated from other

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/30/1/monuments-to-gods-faithfulness-mennonite.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: Searching for a Safe Landing
    various institutions Third throughout the consultations there were comments that Canadian Mennonite Brethren had one school too many Each school and its supporting constituency was fearful that a national system would give others the right to decide to close their school Some of these issues were mentioned in the report that the Executive Committee of the B C Conference made to the provincial convention in 1989 in which it stated its reasons for recommending that the delegates reject the national coordinated educational plan 17 But the report and the convention discussion repeatedly gave one dominant rationale for rejecting a national coordinated system regional and local ownership and accountability are more effective in providing the direction and support that a school needs to successfully meet the needs of its constituency 38 To some extent that perspective was reinforced by the subsequent Concord College experience During the 1990s Canadian Mennonite Brethren east of British Columbia created an interprovincial governance structure for Concord College as it emerged from MBBC but that structure soon gave way to a decision that made Concord College a school of the Manitoba conference 18 Yet even shared regional governance was not enough to guarantee cooperation between schools In 1997 Manitoba tried to create an educational program that would combine Winkler Bible Institute WBI and Concord College That attempt failed Within a few weeks WBI closed 19 In the United States national coordination of education was in place from 1954 to 1979 During most of that time the U S Conference Board of Education governed Tabor College Fresno Pacific College and the Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary established in 1955 In fact when the U S Conference established this coordinated governance they also made the decision to move the seminary department from Tabor College in Hillsboro and establish it in Fresno But while this national system did provide coordination it did not seem capable of providing the attention and impetus needed to expand and strengthen the schools After extensive constituency consultation and the publication of the Report of the Study Commission a special U S Conference Convention on Education was held in Denver in February 1979 The conclusion of that conference was that the ownership and governance of the two colleges should be regionalized 20 By the fall of 1979 that had been implemented Tabor became the school of the Central Latin American North Carolina and Southern Districts Fresno Pacific became the school of the Pacific District In 1980 the U S Conference Board of Education ceased to exist for operational purposes The Board left behind a Statement of Understanding between Tabor College and Fresno Pacific College outlining the implications of regionalization in recruitment and fund raising It also suggested that a national Board of Educational Concerns should be established to determine a direction for Mennonite Brethren education in the U S to implement a program of church accreditation for the colleges and to conduct a pastoral ministry for students in non Mennonite Brethren institutions 21 That board had a short and ineffective life This ideal of a shared national educational vision and interinstitutional cooperation has often been expressed in Canada as well and it is symbolic of one vision of denominational education It was part of the terms of reference of the Educational Committee of the Canadian Conference in 1961 22 It was later embodied in the Inter Institutional 39 Committee of the Board of Higher Education This committee helped to organize annual or nearly annual meetings of senior administrators of the Bible schools and colleges to discuss matters of mutual interest There were several attempts at cooperative projects There was one joint faculty retreat two or three attempts to produce joint publicity materials promoting Mennonite Brethren post secondary education and there was a consensus about consulting with other schools before doing deputation in their region But no sustained cooperation resulted In fact despite the collegiality of these annual meetings of administrators they usually concluded with an unfocused and frantic search for an agenda reason to meet for the next meeting and with no action resulting from the meeting just concluded There was camaraderie without authority INTERDENOMINATIONAL COOPERATION Mennonite Brethren experience with interdenominational cooperation is mixed On the one hand Mennonite Brethren have a reputation among other Mennonites of being reluctant to work in partnerships that they have not initiated or which they cannot control On the other hand Mennonite Brethren are active in numerous evangelical agencies and institutions They give generous support to a multitude of evangelical causes Mennonite Brethren students attend other Christian colleges in higher numbers than they attend their own and Mennonite Brethren schools have a high proportion of students from other denominations In the United States Mennonite Brethren faced the option of inter Mennonite cooperation twice In the early 1930s Tabor College faced financial and academic problems that were so great that the College closed for one year in 1934 35 During that time there were overtures from nearby Bethel College suggesting that the two colleges could combine This option was rejected In the 1950s when the U S Mennonite Brethren Conference was planning to open its own seminary H S Bender of Goshen Seminary invited Mennonite Brethren to cooperate with other Mennonites in the schools already established in the Goshen Elkhart Indiana area Mennonite Brethren were not open to that possibility 23 In Canada Mennonite Brethren were asked in 1945 by leaders of the Conference of Mennonites in Canada CMC if they would be willing to share governance and leadership of MBBC They said no and so the CMC established the Canadian Mennonite Bible College CMBC 24 Mennonite Brethren were invited to be partners in establishing Conrad Grebel College at the University of Waterloo in the 1960s They declined In the late 1970s and early 1980s a study by Frank Epp 40 sponsored by a group of Friends of Higher Education laid out the rationale and design of an inter Mennonite college in Winnipeg that would combine MBBC and CMBC That attempt at

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/30/1/searching-for-safe-landing.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Direction: Mentoring in Higher Education
    the organization From a Christian perspective there is less likelihood that persons will fall prey to personal or professional bad decisions or moral failure if such persons are in an open caring ongoing mentor relationship In that sense when there is such care including prayer support for one another the organization enjoys greater spiritual protection EXTENT OF MENTORING What kinds of mentoring are occurring in higher education and to what extent This segment reports on the research findings around faculty to faculty mentoring as well as a more anecdotal acknowledgement of the two other major types of mentoring faculty to student and student to student Faculty to Faculty Shelley Cunningham recently explored the nature and extent of mentoring within colleges in the Christian College Coalition She replicated an earlier study by Sands Parson and Duane using essentially the same instruments and procedures they had used to study secular schools Two hundred and eighty seven faculty members from nine colleges of various sizes responded to the survey Some of her findings are summarized below While seventy seven percent of faculty reflected that someone had been helpful in their academic career only forty five percent could recall a specific mentoring relationship This was similar to the levels found by Sands in a previous study of university faculty 49 The majority of mentoring relationships were forged voluntarily at the initiative of one or both faculty members The majority of faculty who reported a mentoring relationship spent less than five hours per month together Ideal mentor contributions were career guidance friendship discipleship guidance and institutional information While over ninety percent of faculty affirmed that senior faculty have a mentoring responsibility to junior faculty less than one third had ever served as a mentor The most common hindrances to mentoring identified by faculty were heavy teaching loads large classes student contact load committee work high performance expectations by the institution and family responsibilities Beyond these six the next most often identified factors were an absence of an intentional faculty orientation and development program at the college and low value placed on mentoring by the college In general Cunningham found the results not greatly different from those of Sands The fact that nearly eighty percent of faculty acknowledge someone s care for them and their career but most cannot identify a specific relationship suggests that much mentoring occurs informally However encouragement can be taken from the fact that forty five percent of faculty recall at least one relationship which they could identify as a mentoring relationship One of the schools with a well developed model and resources is the Community College of Aurora see web site below Faculty to Student The classic model used by numerous institutions is the faculty advisor system Here some ten to fifteen students from a department are assigned to a faculty member for both academic advising as well as some conversation around other life issues Many colleges and universities use a mentoring strategy to increase the success and retention of students

    Original URL path: http://www.directionjournal.org/30/1/mentoring-in-higher-education.html (2016-02-16)
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