• 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.

  • vision cover baptism into christian vocation Baptism into Christian vocation
    Vol 12 No 2 (2011)

    From the editorial:

    The rite of baptism marks a key moment in each person’s rich and complex experience of saying yes! to God, of claiming God’s orientation for her or his life and entering into the priestly life of service and blessing. I am convinced that our commitments to be a missional church, to develop a culture of discerning call in our congregations, and to ensure the cultivation of strong leadership for Anabaptist-Mennonite congregations will flounder, if not fail, if we do not attend holistically to baptism, vocation, and ministry as facets of faith for everyone.

  • vision cover idolatry Idolatry
    Vol 12 No 1 (2011)

    From the editorial:

    We know that in spite of Isaiah’s insistence that idols are nothing, and Paul’s assertion that “no idol in the world really exists,” the persistent command to reject idolatry echoes throughout scripture. Deuteronomy calls Israel to serve God alone and to repudiate all other allegiances. Paul asserts that the Corinthian believers ought to “flee from the worship of idols.” The articles and poetry in this issue of Vision are bound to encourage us to let go of counterfeit allegiances, misplaced desires, quick-fix solutions, and the illusions of market demands, and to empower us to pledge allegiance only to the kingdom of God, where we find true freedom and life abundant.

  • vision cover teaching the bible in the congregation Teaching the Bible in the congregation
    Vol 11 No 2 (2010)

    From the editorial:

    The most pressing need of the contemporary church is to learn afresh to read and teach the Bible confessionally. As in: this ability is something we once had and have lost. I believe, and these writers help me believe, that the Bible is fully in relationship with us in our present generation and will be in relationship with God’s church for the ages yet to come. Despite our doubts, questions, and frustrations, the living Word of God continues to comfort, challenge, and confront us. 

  • vision cover unity and diversity Unity and diversity
    Vol 11 No 1 (2010)

    From the editorial:

    In every generation the church negotiates the struggle to embody unity of the Spirit while also embracing the diversity that comes with seeking to live out the fullness of the gospel. The church is rarely diverse enough, falling well short of being God’s community in which barriers of race, class, gender, and nationality are overcome in Christ. On the other hand, the limited diversity we do embody poses challenges enough to maintaining the identity, mission, and unity granted to us in Christ. Diversity is a gift to be cherished and consciously nurtured, but for diversity to be a blessing the church must also nurture a theological and spiritual center that empowers it for witness and mission.

  • vision cover testimony Testimony
    Vol 10 No 2 (2009)

    From the editorial:

    The book of Ecclesiastes tells us: “For everything there is a season . . . a time to keep silence, and a time to speak” (3:1b, 7b). This issue of Vision calls us to consider a time to speak—to tell what God has been doing among us. For various reasons—historical, cultural, sociological, and theological—individuals and congregations within the Anabaptist streams have done well in living the gospel while struggling at times to proclaim it. It is not either/or but both/and: testimony and service come together in the life of faith. In many ways, this issue of Vision calls us not to miss this opportunity to speak our testimony to a world that may be willing to hear what we have to say.

  • vision cover preaching Preaching
    Vol 10 No 1 (2009)

    From the editorial:

    Ezekiel’s dry bones vision serves as a parable about the power of preaching. The prophet is plunked down amid bones of once-living human beings. The bewildered Ezekiel is commanded to prophesy into this tragic situation, and when he obeys, the bones start to rattle and move, re-forming skeletons. A God capable of raising the dead hardly needs assistance from a bewildered prophet, but that is not how the story is told. God uses the prophetic word to unleash the power of resurrection into the community of faith. There is sound biblical foundation for a theme that runs through this issue of Vision: that God chooses to work through preaching. 

  • vision cover sexuality Sexuality
    Vol 9 No 2 (2008)

    From the editorial:

    As always, you will find both joy and pain in the pages of this issue of Vision. Here you will find evidence that when it comes to our sexuality, the church shares the brokenness of the world. I take comfort that the purpose of this journal is not to provide answers but to contribute to a lively dialog on important aspects of church practice. You will find traditional morality and traditional sexual values well represented in these pages. Through the ages, the church has imperfectly but persistently stood courageously against sex for sale, sex outside the sacrament of marriage, sexual violence, sex for personal gratification or power. That courage is alive and well and being reformulated and reinterpreted for a new generation. 


  • vision cover creation care Creation care
    Vol 9 No 1 (2008)

    From the editorial:

    Genesis 1, the hymn of creation that sets in motion the entire biblical story, may be one of the most neglected biblical texts in contemporary Christianity. God speaks the world into being in an orderly and purposeful manner, pausing along the way to observe and evaluate his work and declare, “It was good.” One could make a case that Genesis 1 is the most foundational text of the Bible. Some may claim that God’s salvation is more foundational than God’s creation. But without creation, there is nothing to save. As Creator, God cares so deeply about creation that when sin enters the picture and begins its destructive work, God initiates the grand project of salvation. God works to save both humanity and creation itself.

  • vision cover suffering Suffering
    Vol 8 No 2 (2007)

    From the editorial:

    Are our churches places where tears are understood? Do we open ourselves to the presence of God so deeply, so widely, so wisely, that suffering unbound and shared becomes clay in the hands of our divine potter? The writers for this issue have known tears, and they consider that clay of suffering—lumpy, shapeless, wasted, mysterious, moldable. They teach us, churches diverse in character and context, what it might mean to become more thoroughly the places on earth that Christ calls us to be—places where, when we must cry, tears are understood; places where, with time and burdens borne no longer alone, mourning turns, sometimes at least, to laughter.

  • vision cover reconciling Reconciling
    Vol 8 No 1 (2007)

    From the editorial:

    This issue of Vision focuses on reconciling, and the articles included help us understand both the unity that has been given to us and what it means to live into it. This issue is seasoned with the wisdom of authors who have studied and worked at reconciliation in places of deep animosity, brokenness, and alienation. Their writing nevertheless reflects a profound but perhaps understandable hope. After all, the church in reconciling proclaims its faith, a faith rooted in Jesus Christ and the generous love and mercy of God.

  • vision cover prayer Prayer
    Vol 7 No 2 (2006)

    From the editorial:

    The life of the church, routine as it often is, takes on urgency in times of crisis. But without the everyday practices of our faith, we would have nothing to turn to when we are in great need. Prayer is at the heart of Christian practice, public and private. We pray on momentous occasions, those times marking the milestones and the disruptions of our lives, as well as in the seasons of the turning year. We pray in services of worship, in small groups, and before meals. We also pray in the course of the day. Consciously and unconsciously, we are privileged to take everything to God in prayer. Many of us often pray but rarely talk about it; the purpose of this issue of Vision is to open up a conversation about our praying.



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