Archives - Page 2

  • 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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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.

  • vision cover salvation

    Vol. 7 No. 1 (2006)

    From the editorial:

    This issue of Vision offers a rich sampling of perspectives. Central to Christian expression is the conviction that through Jesus Christ, God has brought salvation to the world. We preach sermons, lead Bible studies, and remind others about this salvation as we work and serve in the church. And for all of us, undoubtedly, salvation is also a personal longing. To help us reflect on the meaning and significance of salvation, this issue of Vision offers a rich sampling of perspectives. The articles that appear in the following pages do not exhaust what we could say about salvation in Christ, but I am grateful for the wide-ranging way the various authors have contributed their perspectives on this topic. 

  • vision cover worship

    Vol. 6 No. 2 (2005)

    From the editorial:

    The overarching purpose of this issue of Vision is to take a reading of how mainstream North American Mennonites think about and practice worship. Two specific goals include placing our diverse ways of worship side by side, to see what light they shed on one another, and testing whether shared convictions about worship emerge. We hope that readers from other traditions will also find this issue worth studying. They will discover a paradox: as we seek ways of worshiping that are authentically Mennonite, we find ourselves turning to the larger Christian tradition for help.

  • vision cover scripture

    Vol. 6 No. 1 (2005)

    From the editorial:

    Our human need for God’s life-giving word stands at the centre of all the articles in this issue of Vision. Each of the articles comes from a different angle, but each contributes to a conversation about how we might hear and experience scripture as God’s life-giving word. Not surprisingly, the question of authority remains central. Why should we read and reflect on scripture, and why should we orient our lives around the story it tells, unless we believe that it is authoritative in some way? May this issue of Vision assist the church to practice and demonstrate the authority of scripture, and also to experience scripture as the word of life we cannot do without.

  • vision cover power and leadership

    Power and leadership
    Vol. 5 No. 2 (2004)

    From the editorial:

    We think and fret about the various aspects of leadership and power more than we talk about them openly, freely, and thoughtfully. As I was imagining this issue of Vision, I had two modest goals. One was to provide a marker: what are some of the ways we are thinking about power and leadership in our time, for our place in the river of faith and life? The other was to set the table for dialogue: how might we nurture more generous discussion of these issues as we gather to be God’s people with and for one another? Both the church and the world will benefit from these thoughtful reflections.

  • vision cover end of life

    End of life
    Vol. 5 No. 1 (2004)

    From the editorial:

    At the center of Christian thinking about return to God stand the resurrection of Jesus and his teaching about life and death. The church’s real-life practices should be grounded in sound theology, while theology ought to be informed by what we have discerned through experience to be faithful practice. My hope is that this issue of Vision strikes an appropriate balance between this-worldly and other-worldly. May the articles provide insight and inspiration for those who minister to the dying and bereaved, may they nurture a hope in eternal life that inspires us to faithful living, and may they help prepare each of us for our own return to God.



  • vision cover catechesis

    Vol. 4 No. 2 (2003)

    From the editorial:

    With this issue of Vision, we pursue questions I often asked as a pastor: How did sixteenth-century Anabaptists do catechism? Is catechism important, and if so, why? Can we learn from the early church about how to do catechism? Is catechism—or should it be— affected by age or life-stage? What might the Bible teach about catechism? Can other traditions teach us about training new believers? Do we have reliable Mennonite resources? How do we work with those not raised Mennonite? And on and on. I am delighted with the excellent articles that address these and a host of other issues. Predictably, not all authors agree with each other, but they do all reinforce the strong conviction that catechetical issues are vital.

  • vision cover beginning of life

    Beginning of life
    Vol. 4 No. 1 (2003)

    From the editorial:

    Does God care how we make babies? Does God care that we make babies? What are the implications of our conviction that life is a gift of God? How can pastors and congregations respond sensitively to the pain of infertility and miscarriage? How should Christians think about artificial reproductive technology, prenatal diagnostic testing, abortion, and other beginning-of-life technology? This issue of Vision addresses these questions and more.

  • vision cover confession

    Vol. 3 No. 2 (2002)

    From the editorial:

    In this issue we are deliberately blurring the definition of confession to include both confession of faith in God and confession to God of who we are in that relationship as well as in our relationships with others and our world. In this issue, we deal with confession as a practice of the church in a variety of ways. Some of the articles are foundational—dealing with biblical, theological, and historical issues of confession. Other authors write about how the disciplines of confession function in contemporary contexts both in the church and in the world. Finally, we have three contributions that could be described in a variety of ways, but that I want to highlight here as artistic. 

  • vision cover hospitality

    Vol. 3 No. 1 (2002)

    From the editorial:

    The articles in this issue of Vision explore various aspects of this theme of hospitality—from its biblical, poetic, and even cinematic expressions, to its liturgical, pastoral, ecclesial, and missional dimensions. We hope they stir your imagination.

  • vision cover transformation

    Vol. 2 No. 2 (2001)

    From the editorial:

    In the following pages, you will find a variety of perspectives and views on personal and communal transformation in the light of God, mediated by Christ in the power of the Spirit. The articles included in this issue of Vision blend biblical and theological considerations with experiential and practical concerns for faith and ministry. Together with the diversity of viewpoints with which the authors treat specific topics, you will also find fundamental convergence and complementarity among the essays.

  • vision cover communion

    Vol. 2 No. 1 (2001)

    From the editorial:

    What kind of event is it: sign, corporate symbol, sacrament, ordinance, ceremony, ritual? What really happens in the event? What occasions or contexts are appropriate for enacting the event? Who is welcome to participate? What preparatory activities are proper: self-examination, corporate sharing or reconciliation, table fellowship? How should the physical dynamics be orchestrated: rows, queue toward a table, circles around tables, common cup, individual cups? When and how often is it best celebrated? Finally, what should we call it: Communion, the Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper, the Agapé. This issue of Vision addresses a number, although not all, of these persistent questions. 

  • Vision cover spirituality

    Vol. 1 No. 1 (2000)

    From the editorial:
    The theme of this first issue is spirituality. When the editorial council met, this topic emerged as one that unites and divides, is at home in the church and also crosses the boundaries of church and society in ways that are sometimes healing and sometimes disconcerting. How to assess current spirituality movements, how to affirm Christian spirituality, how to nurture a faltering spirituality are all questions that have an impact on our congregations. We intend the articles in this issue not to answer all these questions but to stimulate thinking and invite responses.

26-48 of 48