Seminary Library
Worship Bethany Theological Seminary
bethany theological seminary community
Walking on main campus

You are here

Brethren Life & Thought

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version


Brethren Life and ThoughtA Scholarly Journal Published in the Interest
of the Church of the Brethren


About BL&T

Brethren Life & Thought is a joint publication of Bethany Theological Seminary and the Brethren Journal Association (BJA). The journal solicits thoughtful interpretive essays, scholarly articles, and short creative works, including poetry, related to the faith, heritage, and practices of the Church of the Brethren and related movements.

Want fresh and current content of a lighter flavor (but just as thoughtful)?  Check out our Brethren Life & Thought blog at!


Subscribe or renew your subscription now . . .     or make a donation to BL&T!

          Subscribe NOW!




Current Issue:

Vol. 58 No. 1

(Summary coming soon)


Past Issues:

Vol. 57 No. 2

(Summary coming soon)

Vol. 57 No. 1

(Summary coming soon)

Vol. 56 No. 2

Volume 56 no. 2 (Fall 2011) premieres our decision to include peer reviewed articles in each issue.  A stylized “pr” will appear in the table of contents listing of articles and the opening page of each peer reviewed article.  This volume will include a variety of articles: the 2012 Bethany commencement address by Fletcher Farrar, articles on holiness, sacred music, Anabaptist spirituality, and the first article in our Distinguished John Kline Brethren Scholars Series, an article by Jeff Bach on the topic, Brethren and slavery.


Vol. 56 No. 1  (Spring 2011):  The Scholarship of Warren F. Groff

With this issue, we celebrate the contributions of Warren F. Groff to Bethany Theological Seminary and the Church of the Brethren as theologian, scholar, and churchman.  This collection of Groff’s speeches, reflections, book excerpts, and letters of tribute from former students and fellow faculty members reveals a mind so deep intellectually that his thoughts come round finally to an exquisite simplicity.  A bibliography of Groff’s numerous writings is included in this volume.  From that list we have reprinted five representative articles from books and journals that are as timely today as they were when they were first published.


Vol. 55 No. 3 & 4

This issue features a cluster of articles on the topic of technology. Arthur Boers of Tyndale Seminary in Toronto, Canada; Dan Ulrich from Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Indiana; and Shane Hipps, now at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, Michigan, share perspectives on ways technology impacts our lives. Their articles should deepen our discussions about how we use technology.  

Other articles cover a variety of topics. You will read an article about the testimonies of women martyrs as recorded in Martyrs Mirror. The printing of Martyrs Mirror was a technological feat in its day, but this article will focus instead on the power the women martyrs wielded in a society in which women had no power. Recent Bethany graduate Anna Lisa Gross writes about the dualisms that mire us in either/or thinking and offers both/and possibilities. Gross uses the Love Feast to demonstrate the richness of duality in theology. Robert McFadden writes about Deuteronomistic history. Graydon Snyder traces the Christian practice of eating a meal to commemorate the dead. Ken Gibble reminds all of us who minister, whether professional or lay, of the importance of listening. Some of Gibble’s poems are included in this issue. The Texts in Transit series continues with Frank Ramirez taking up the task of writing the historical portion following the death of Ken Shaffer. There is something for everyone in this issue.


Vol 55 No 1 & 2

Volume 55 Number 1&2, cover date Winter and Spring 2010 was mailed to subscribers April 20, 2011. This volume number is a themed issue, which is part of the reason it has been delayed. Since this issue considers the topic Human Sexuality we wanted to include as many voices as possible. A wide variety of people were invited to submit material. We waited to go to print as long as we could. The articles included represent those who responded. If is unfortunate that some voices are missing, but we assure you, more voices were invited. We hope the articles in this issue stimulate thought and discussion as we attempt to reason together on the issue of human sexuality.
This issue also includes two more installments of Texts in Transit by Graydon Snyder and Ken Shaffer.


Vol 54 No 4

Vol 54 No 4 (Fall 2009) presents four articles that stimulate thought around the Christian responses of forgiveness and forbearance. In this issue: Don Kraybill locates Amish attitudes about forgiveness in the literal interpretation of scripture, referencing some of John Howard Yoder's teachings. Flora Williams recounts an event in her life in which she suffered a terrible physical loss that might have left her bitter and resentful. Some of Flora's poems are also published in this issue. Chris Bowman, pastor of the Oakton Church of the Brethren in Virginia, reminds us that even the greatest moments in our faith history do not simply erase our sorrows of the past. This issue also includes a paper first circulated at Annual Conference in 2009, by Earle Fike, Jim Lehman, Bill Eberly, and Elaine Sollenberger which explores the use of forbearance as a uniquely Brethren process for working together and for discerning the will of God on difficult issues. (The forbearance article is of such interest that we have made it available here in its entirety - "The Recovery of Brethren Forbearance" (pdf)* - and we suggest you also read the accompanying study questions in the link following!)

Erratum: Contributing author Jim Lehman's name was mispelled on the cover of 54.4 and in the article, "The Recovery of Brethren Forbearance." Jim is an author and publisher from Elgin, Illinois, and author of The Old Brethren, published by Brethren Press.

Other Past Issues

  • Vol 54 No 3 (Summary of articles and downloadable Study Questions)
  • Vol 54 No 1 & 2 (Summary of articles and downloadable Study Questions)
  • Vol 53 No 4 (Summary of articles and downloadable Study Questions)
  • Vol 53 No 3 (Summary of articles and downloadable Study Questions)


Access Back Issues on ATLA

Member/Subscribers are now able to access articles in all back issues of Brethren Life & Thought through this website. A secure login is required, consisting of an ID and PIN. Your ID Number is your customer number, and appears with the PIN on your mailing label for your convenience. (ID numbers and PINs can also be obtained by emailing ) Once you have your login information, you may access ATLA here.



Authors are solely responsible for the contents of their articles. The Brethren Journal Association and Bethany Theological Seminary disclaim responsibility for statements, either of fact or opinion, made by the contributors.


*You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader (a free download) to view pdf files. 

For more information about Brethren Life and Thought, subscription payments, and back issue requests, contact:

Karen Garrett, Managing Editor for Brethren Life & Thought      765-983-1811


          Subscribe NOW!



- or contact -

Brethren Life & Thought
Bethany Theological Seminary
615 National Road West
Richmond, IN  47374

For the Book Review Editor, contact:

Jody Gunn
(MDiv Connections)

JodyIn the summer of 2006, I made a pact with a high school friend to make our fortieth decade significant. My goal was to complete my Master of Divinity degree before I turned fifty years old. Inside I asked myself and God, "How is this was going to be possible?" Eventually, I was willing to be open to it. My life seemed crazy enough without adding seminary to the mix. I am married to Eric and have two children 15 and 10, so I run a household. I serve a church half time and find many opportunities to volunteer in our community. In spite of the busyness of my life I said "Yes!" to Bethany because I really was at a point in my life where it made sense.