Portraying diversityBy John C. Wiebe Westhaven, Calif.
The March 5 MWR knocked some of us out of our recliners portraying the diversity represented by “Anabaptist” or “Mennonite.” Some of the colloquy and wrangling merits recall.
Tom Airey shot most of the feathers out of the recently reported Anabaptist-Baptist connection. Sheldon Rich voices concern about getting caught up in Baptist internal struggles. Both are guarded about aspects of “fundamentalism.”
In contrast, Richard Dugan appears amazed by “liberal, leftist-leaning nature” of things in general, comparing some Mennonite seminary professors to the most liberal Methodists and asks, “What are they doing in historic Anabaptist Mennonitism?” Jean Martin declares, “[God] will deal with sin violently. Jesus did not come to bring peace but a sword,” while Harold Miller argues that if God requires the preservation of Israel, “Israel’s wars could be holy wars.” Mennonite seminarian Elmer Martens writes that Eric Siebert, the author of Disturbing Divine Behavior, “concedes too much to a God-construct that calls for consistent pacifism.”
“I must run at full throttle from a god who is both violent and nonviolent, then return to a God of peace and steadfast love,” John Asa Hertzler declares, implying that God does not “behave badly.” At Eastern Mennonite University, Mike Zucconi indicates students focus on “prayer, communal life and reaching out to the poor … and our commitment to peace and reconciliation.”
In “Mosaic” Troy Watson states, “Jesus taught almost exclusively using questions and confusing short stories,” highlighting the necessity of questioning for spiritual development. Good journalism and dialogue invite good reading and significant questions. Clearly, MWR is on track!
Comment on the article Portraying diversity
Please keep comments civil. MWR editors reserve the right to remove any comment. When posting a comment, you agree to the MWR Comments Policy. Name and comment will be posted; commenters are strongly encouraged to give their full name. Email address is for follow-up only and will not be made public.