• Commemorating Anabaptism’s 500 years
    Vol. 25 No. 1 (2024)

    From the editorial:

    In 2025, Anabaptist communities around the world will have an opportunity to commemorate Anabaptism’s 500 years of existence. There is much to ponder about commemorating, given the evolving nature of the tradition and its geographical reach. The Anabaptist movement began in Europe but eventually also found footing in the Americas and the Global South. Like many religious traditions, Anabaptism cannot easily be defined by clearly marked boundaries and characteristics. Over the centuries, the tradition has become more like a multi-coloured tapestry shaped by fluid and overlapping religious cultures. Commemorating will mean different things to different people, and these “moments of memory activation” are an occasion for us to consider what narratives are worth telling. . . .

    In considering Anabaptism’s quincentenary, this issue invites further reflection on what it means to be Anabaptist today and suggests potentially fruitful pathways forward. While the publication marks Anabaptism’s 500 years, it also points to this journal’s twenty-fifth anniversary. Those of us at AMBS, CMU, and the journal’s editorial council—who are responsible for this semi-annual publication—trust that Vision: A Journal for Church and Theology will continue to be a vital resource for Christians in the Anabaptist tradition and beyond.

  • Family
    Vol. 24 No. 2 (2023)

    The church has played a role in fostering positive, enduring understandings of family. It has also played a role in perpetuating ethically harmful and theologically unsound understandings. Two motivating questions this issue of Vision asks are: (1) How can the church play a positive role in supporting families without relying on a narrow understanding of the ideal family unit itself? (2) What definition of family needs to replace the antiquated and probably-never-accurate conceptions of the traditional, nuclear family?

  • Uncertainty
    Vol. 24 No. 1 (2023)

    This issue of Vision explores the theme of uncertainty from a variety of angles: personal, ecological, biblical, societal, and so on. As Karl Koop reflects in the editorial: "We seem to have entered a period of uncertainty. All of us experience personal uncertainties, of course, but in recent years global events—events such as climate change, food insecurity, economic woes, the pandemic, rising international tensions, intensification of political and social fragmentation inside national borders, and so on—have made us collectively uncertain. We would like to experience a return to normalcy, but we might also be in permacrisis, a prolonged period of instability and insecurity. But then, instability and insecurity have always been a part of human experience. Perhaps only we, the privileged, have escaped widespread calamity until now."

  • Spirituality & aging
    Vol. 23 No. 2 (2022)

    This issue of Vision focuses on the opportunities and challenges associated with three aspects of spirituality and aging in particular: changes, questions, and resources. Through these themes we honor the experience of aging, with all its emotions, ponderings, and questions. We hear about ways to challenge ageism and engage life more fully with and as older adults. We open ourselves to the voices of older adults and those who know them well and love them deeply to better appreciate the marvelous interrelationship of spirituality and aging.

  • Music and the arts
    Vol. 23 No. 1 (2022)

    From the editorial:

    The trajectory of the articles in this issue is toward becoming more aware of worship’s relational qualities—to worship is to relate to the church, which is to say the people, within and beyond the building—and to expand our singing and worship in ways that invite and include the church, now, across all kinds of difference.

  • Reading the Bible as if our lives depend on it
    Vol. 22 No. 2 (2021)

    From the editorial:

    Learning to read the Bible as if our lives depend on it is a journey from standing outside the biblical text to finding ourselves inside it. Instead of trying to master the Bible intellectually, we join biblical characters in a desperate search for God, who cannot be tamed by finite human minds. The phrase “reading the Bible as if our lives depend on it” came to us through our beloved Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary professor Mary Schertz, who adapted it from Old Testament scholar Ellen Davis. We proposed an issue of Vision dedicated to this idea in honor of Mary’s lifelong work teaching students to read Scripture in exactly this way. Our aspiration for this issue is to share with the church the practices of reading Scripture that helped us to encounter God in new ways, practices we learned from Mary.

  • Health, Healing, and Hope
    Vol. 22 No. 1 (2021)

    In this issue, there are some references to the current COVID-19 pandemic, but most articles address a wide range of issues that are pertinent to Christians in every age and circumstance. Authors share openly about their personal struggles with illness, their experiences as caregivers, and their encounters as persons involved in pastoral or chaplaincy care. Some address the topic of health as it relates to social, economic, and political concerns. And there are authors who raise questions about how persons with disabilities are treated within the church and society—suggesting that many of us without disabilities need to radically rethink what it means to have persons with disabilities among us, gifting the church and society with their presence and contributing to our collective well being.

  • Laughter
    Vol. 21 No. 2 (2020)

    "In this issue, we hear from comedians and joyous leaders in the church who masquerade as pastor, therapist, playwright, actor, antiracism professional, academic, communications expert, administrator, and novelist. Thanks be to God for those among us who bring on the comedy, testify to joy, make us laugh, and at the same time usher us into God’s gospel for our time." - Allan Rudy-Froese, from the editorial

  • Encountering God
    Vol. 21 No. 1 (2020)

    This issue of Vision provides an opportunity to hear people’s stories of encountering God. As well, this issue invites gracious and honest reflections on such encounters—reflections that draw on Scripture, theology, psychology, cross-cultural perspectives, missiology, and more.

  • Originating Sins
    Vol. 20 No. 2 (2019)

    From the editorial:

    ". . . spiritual trespasses have social
    implications; this connection, which is foundational for doing Christian
    ethics, is at the heart of the pieces collected in this volume.

    The pieces in this issue of Vision engage the broader theme “originating
    sins†through the particulars of the Doctrine of Discovery. Each
    contribution is a piece of resistance to the doctrine’s building blocks and
    strategies of enslavement, exploitation, extraction, extermination, and extinction.
    Each contribution is also a piece of affirmation that we humans,
    with God’s guidance, can learn, grow, heal, and change. But the tree of
    life and liberation is still vulnerable, and we are too. Even when our hearts
    have changed, and we see things differently, we are still caught in the snare
    of social and systemic evils even as we oppose and resist them."

  • Be not afraid
    Vol. 20 No. 1 (2019)

    From the editorial:

    When I invited authors to contribute to this issue, I . . . asked them to examine whether and how the Bible’s exhortations to “fear not†finds support in their experience and study. We all know persons whose fear has turned to grief and whose hopes have gone unfulfilled. Nevertheless, I asked contributors to consider whether, amid these losses, Christianity holds out the possibility of becoming part of a “we†that is never put to shame.

  • Gifts of a global church
    Vol. 19 No. 2 (2018)

    From the editorial:

    What does it mean to be a global church? What does it mean to be Mennonite, given the reality of our church, of our historical sins and great global differences?

    All the authors [in this issue] are convinced that participating in a global church gifts us, gifts us all, with community, and so with possibilities for mutual learning and a shared life in faith. The challenges to forming and sustaining global church relationships are great, and require us to face the legacies of colonialism and economic dependence, as well as our deep linguistic and cultural differences. But the reward is considerable: God’s gift to us, each other.

  • The church and young adults
    Vol. 19 No. 1 (2018)

    From the editorial:

    This issue has been driven by our belief that when it comes to young adults, there is much we can do. But it has also been driven by our belief that we’re called to do far more than simply get them to come to church. Primarily, this issue has been driven by our belief that our young adults are our theological mirrors and the canaries in our ecclesial coal mines. Our young adults reflect back to us the theologies we embodied and articulated for them. Not the theologies we think we offered them but the theologies we actually offered them. They also warn us about the theological and ecclesial places that are toxic, and they sing to us about the places that sustain life. To be sure, our young adults do not have all our answers—in fact, my most reflective research subjects longed for a church that stopped trying to blindly accommodate their desires—but our young adults can ask and tell us much about what it means to be the church. 

  • vision cover proclaiming christ in a pluralistic context

    Proclaiming Christ in a pluralistic context
    Vol. 18 No. 2 (2017)

    From the editorial:

    There may be no subject more important than the one that is the focus of this issue: why and how we proclaim Christ in a pluralist context. It is fundamental to who we are as Christians and what we do as Christians. You will find in these pages a rich assortment of experiences and perspectives. There is also something, I am gratified to say, that you will not find. You will not see anyone arguing that we need to tone down our proclamation of Christ in order to avoid offending our ecumenical or interfaith dialogue partners. Yes, in all cases, we must be respectful. Yes, in all cases, we must listen—even more than we speak. But we need not deny the strength of our convictions. We must, as did the early Christians, speak boldly of Christ. 

  • vision cover faith and politics

    Faith and politics
    Vol. 18 No. 1 (2017)

    From the editorial:

    In a sense, this issue of Vision tries to show that the issues addressed in discussions of faith and politics are far more than analysis of conventional electoral power. Presumably, Anabaptists (and others, surely) want to think about these matters without making a case for hegemony of the church or theocracy, for the revival of Christendom or even the establishment of the church. This issue of Vision attempts to display how the ongoing task of shedding light from the Christian faith on the intricate challenge of living in our societies takes on a plurality of topics as well as several different forms. 

  • vision cover body

    Vol. 17 No. 2 (2016)

    From the editorial:

    Most of us worry about our bodies. Whole industries are founded on these worries and dissatisfactions. While these preoccupations may be exaggerated in the luxury economies of North America, there is evidence that concerns about bodies transcend time and geography. These fears and distortions seem antithetical to Christian faith. A central truth of our existence as believers is that we only learn to know and love God through our bodies. We are created in the image of God only as we become creatures of flesh and blood. The authors in this issue of Vision all took up my challenge to them to give us new ways to think about and better value our human being, the bodies we not only inhabit but are

  • vision cover discernment

    Vol. 17 No. 1 (2016)

    From the editorial:

    Discerning the will of God can be time consuming. It was not until the late fourth century that standardized lists of New Testament writings emerged with the final 27 books as we know them. Mennonite churches in North America have been addressing questions around homosexuality for only about thirty years. In this issue of Vision the writers do not attempt to resolve the various questions facing the church in matters pertaining to homosexuality. Far more they are asking us to pay attention to how we discern and how we live faithfully in times when we disagree with one another. 

  • vision cover technology

    Vol. 16 No. 2 (2015)

    From the editorial:

    The guiding questions for this issue of Vision are: What biblical, theological, and behavioural issues and factors should the church take into account as it discerns whether and how to use certain technologies, especially communications technologies? How might these technologies be positively and negatively affecting the life and practices of the church? What comes through with some consistency is the conviction that our faith requires us to participate in the work of reconciliation and strengthening relationships between humans and God, among humans, and with creation. In our engagement with this work, how we use technology matters.

  • vision cover sabbath

    Vol. 16 No. 1 (2015)

    From the editorial:

    The commandment to “remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy†appears in two forms in the Old Testament. Keeping the Sabbath reminds us that God is in charge of the world and we are not, that God’s creating and redeeming activity exists prior to all our activities. How we should honor these commandments has been debated over the centuries. Jesus himself contributed to the debate by interpreting the Sabbath in ways that were sometimes out of step with his contemporaries’ convictions. That the Sabbath was important, however, was never in question. This issue of Vision invites readers to consider Sabbath from a rich variety of perspectives and to contemplate the ongoing significance of Sabbath. 

  • vision cover joy

    Vol. 15 No. 2 (2014)

    From the editorial:

    During the first Palestinian Intifada, I was part of a global delegation held in Jerusalem in 1990. We spent several days in Gaza. We heard heard expressions of fear and frustration. And we witnessed joy. In my naïveté, I wondered: How can this be? How can people know joy amid such incredible adversity? This issue of Vision on joy is rooted in the questions about joy raised by that time in Gaza. Joy is easily trivialized or sentimentalized. The things that lurk in the dark in the middle of the night taunted me with the suggestion that this issue could become Vision’s version of a Hallmark card. I will let you make your own assessment. But mine is that our writers have given the lie to those insidious two-in-the-morning voices.

  • vision cover economics

    Vol. 15 No. 1 (2014)

    From the  editorial:

    [The Apostle] Paul’s own letters show a remarkable interest in economic relationships, in particular toward forms of local and global mutualism under the framework of partnership and equality, where ultimately no one has either excess or lack. Mutual aid appropriate to a partnership, says Paul, is an obligation in obedience to the gospel, but still somehow voluntary as a display of love. Ancient writers did not conceptualize economics as a distinct and separate domain of life. What the Bible invites us to recover is the concrete, personal dimensions of economic relationships: our relationships to the means of production, to modes of exchange and distribution, and to the dynamics of consumption. 

  • vision cover peace

    Vol. 14 No. 2 (2013)

    From the editorial:

    Editing this collection of essays on peace has been inspiring because of the abundance of worthy topics and authors. Mennonites in North America emerged from World War II with a strong peace commitment that focused heavily on refusing military service. This commitment was unpopular and sometimes costly, and it was challenged by many within our churches. This understanding of peace had been central for Mennonites and other groups known as peace churches throughout the centuries. This understanding of peace remains strong. But since the 1940s, attention and energy shifted from the “negative†act of refusing to kill to the positive (or proactive) tasks of peacemaking and peacebuilding. 

  • vision cover upside-down church

    Upside-down church
    Vol. 14 No. 1 (2013)

    From the editorial:

    The church: Mustard seed, branch, harvest, light, salt, bride, family, household, living stones, building, flock. The place that is the body of Christ. For most of the history of Christianity it has been impossible to conceive of being Christian apart from participation in the body of Christ, the church. Yet today many see the church as superfluous to the Christian faith and life. A new category is emerging that might be called “post-Christian†or perhaps “post-church†or even “Christian alumni.†These people have grown weary of institutional Christian life, and after contributing much to the church, have ended up leaving it. This issue of Vision will examine what it means to be an “upside-down church†in our context.

  • vision cover rethinking discipleship

    Rethinking discipleship
    Vol. 13 No. 2 (2012)

    From the editorial:

    People formed in the Anabaptist traditions tend to take discipleship for granted. We have heard the word as long as we can remember. It was part of our catechism or baptism classes, where we learned about the sixteenth-century martyrs, teased out the phrase radical discipleship, and thought about our commitment to be followers of Jesus. Precisely because discipleship is a commonplace among us, it is time to look again at this notion. Does it demand anything more of us? Is there something about living in twenty-first North America that calls us to rethink discipleship and to ask for help in doing so from people who are not so wealthy, privileged, or flush with opportunity?

  • vision cover the holy spirit and the christian life

    The Holy Spirit and the Christian life
    Vol. 13 No. 1 (2012)

    From the editorial:

    Where is the Spirit of God at work in our lives, and how do we recognize the Spirit’s activity in the world? While Christians in the West may stumble in trying to answer this question, believers elsewhere evidently have a strong sense of the Spirit’s presence. Eastern Orthodox Christians are intensely aware of the Spirit’s activity every time they gather for worship and Eucharistic celebration. Christians living in the global South likewise seem to have a heightened awareness of the Spirit’s activity. The elusive movements of the Holy Spirit are surely beyond our grasp, but my hope is that the contributions in this issue of Vision will challenge us to broaden our horizons and inspire us toward greater faithfulness.

1-25 of 48