How Mennonite became an ethnic label rather than a religious one – Part two

The two most prominent leaders of the church that came to be known as Mennonites were Dietrich (Dirk) Philips of Flanders (now part of Belgium) and Menno Simons of Friesland (northern part of Netherlands). These leaders did not establish a new faith, or a new church, but simply gathered together the remnant of the Waldensians … Continue reading How Mennonite became an ethnic label rather than a religious one – Part two

An exuberant storyteller

Joe Wheeler was frequently found at a table in the coffee shop in Saskatoon's lone Christian bookstore. He had accumulated a wealth of Bible knowledge and a wealth of experiences over his lifetime and loved to share this wealth with others. Sometimes I was one of those others. Image by Alfred Derks from Pixabay  Joe died 16 months … Continue reading An exuberant storyteller

I Owe the Lord a Morning Song

Amos Herr (1816-1897) lived on a Lancaster county, Pennsylvania farm that had been in the Herr family since 1710 when his ancestors fist arrived from Europe. In addition to being a farmer, he was a minister of the local Mennonite congregation. One wintry Sunday morning about 150 years ago, he awoke to a raging blizzard … Continue reading I Owe the Lord a Morning Song

Scriptural use of the sacramental signs

The Bible instructs us to observe two sacraments: baptism and communion. They are the essential means for gathering a church of born-again believers and for maintaining the unity of that church. There is a lot of confused thinking about both of them. As a boy, I learned from the Anglican catechism that a sacraments is … Continue reading Scriptural use of the sacramental signs

Are we still walking on the old paths?

“The believer, in his baptism, is baptized into the body of Christ, the church, 1 Cor. 12:13,27. And then he puts on Christ and unites himself to him to follow him truly and constantly, and bearing his cross after him. And should the believer be called on to suffer for the name of Christ and … Continue reading Are we still walking on the old paths?

Defenceless Christians?

As Anabaptists/Mennonites we call ourselves nonresistant, or defenceless, Christians. Let’s take a moment to examine ourselves in one small aspect of what this means, or should mean. The question is, how should we relate to persons in our congregation whose ethnic, social or cultural identity differs from that of the majority of the members? Do … Continue reading Defenceless Christians?

The foolishness of preaching

Singing and prayer have always been important ingredients of worship in the Anabaptist - Mennonite faith, but the focal point of a worship service is that which the apostle Paul called the foolishness of preaching. It appears to be foolishness because there are not many powerful orators amongst us, not many who make a great … Continue reading The foolishness of preaching

The church-state hybrid

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay  "We must begin by pointing out that with the launching of the New Testament vision a new idea was being broached; the world was being treated to a new and very revolutionary concept of society, namely, that men can get along peacefully in the market place even though they do … Continue reading The church-state hybrid

The Mennonite service ethic

Protestant work ethic is a termed coined by German sociologist Max Weber in 1905 in his book Die Protestantische Ethik und der Geist des Kapitalismus (The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism). The gist of Weber’s thinking is summarized thusly in Wikipedia: “Calvinist theologians taught that only those who were predestined to be saved … Continue reading The Mennonite service ethic