Elections & Idolatry

& Uncategorized.

John Nugent, a young Yoder scholar mentioned here before, has recently written an entry on “nation/nationalism” for the Oxford Encyclopedia of Bible and Ethics.  Out of that research he is writing three blog posts.  The first one has just been posted on his blog, Walk and Word.  The other two will be up within the… Read more »

Election Day Communion–Indeed!

& Uncategorized.

I had been meaning for weeks now to add my affirmation to the effort by Mark Schloneger, Kevin Gasser and Ben Irwin to call for Election Day Communion. (The first two, I am happy to say, are former students; Mark gave me the name for my blog.)  I think this is a wonderful statement—and a… Read more »

The Naked Anabaptist or Particular Anabaptists?

& Uncategorized.

This post is offering reflections on the book, The Naked Anabaptist by Stuart Murray.  For a book published by Herald Press, a Mennonite publisher, it has been a fairly popular book, studied within many Mennonite churches in North America. I love clever, evocative book titles.  What Would Jesus Deconstruct? is one of my favorites.   A… Read more »

Purposeful Plan: Mennonite or Mennolite?

& Mennonite, Uncategorized.

Note: This essay offers reflections on “The Purposeful Plan,” a document written to guide the Mennonite Church USA some years into the future.  It was discussed at the last national convention in Pittsburgh in 2011.  It has been or will be discussed by individual Mennonite congregations, by delegates within regional conferences this summer and as… Read more »

Defending Constantine? A Critical Engagement of Peter Leithart

& Uncategorized.

Against Christianity and For Constantine: One Heresy or Two? Mark Thiessen Nation   Introduction: The Heresy of “Christianity” Although this paper will focus on some specific critiques of Peter Leithart’s thoughtful and well-researched book, Defending Constantine, I want to begin by naming striking similarities between Leithart’s project and the primary target of his polemic, John… Read more »

All Things to All People?

& Uncategorized.

In some ways I see my ministry for many years as being “all things to all people.”  But not everything I write speaks to everyone.  That is understandable for many reasons. I am writing this just now because I will soon be posting two things that will appeal to rather specific audiences.  I am, for… Read more »

Naming What Unites Us

& Uncategorized.

The well-known theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer met Karl Barth, a theologian that had deeply influenced him, for the first time in July of 1931.  He loved his lectures.  But even more he was taken with Barth the engaging conversationalist over dinner.  He reported on the conversation in a letter to a friend of his, Erwin Sutz. … Read more »

Celebrating Biblical Commentaries

& Books.

Students who have had me as a professor within the last six years or so are probably aware that my very favorite commentary on any book of the Bible is Matthew: A Commentary, 2d ed. by Frederick Dale Bruner (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2004; paper 2007).  This massive, two-volume commentary is, so I would argue, in… Read more »