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Brethren Life & Thought Vol 53 No 4 (Fall 2008)

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This issue of Brethren Life & Thought presents four feature articles and five book reviews.  Since this is the final issue for 2008 it also include an index for all the Volume 53 issues.  In the first article Frank Ramirez offers a history of the development of the Mutual Aid Association (MAA) and attitudes in the church toward insurance as a matter of faith.  In the second article Donald Miller writes about the way the Brethren in Nigeria and the Sudan understand the church's peace position, and what it means in their context.  The final two articles, by Dale Stoffer of the Brethren Church, looks at the 1883 split that resulted in the Brethen Church.  In the first of the two articles he examines attempts over a century to reunite the Brethren Church with the main body, which came to be known as the Church of the Brethren. In the second paper, he follows the ironic development of progressive ideas, originally the purview of the Brethren Church, but  become the distinction of the Church of the Brethren in the twentieth century.


Mutual Aid in the Bible and the Early Church
by Frank Ramirez (pages 1-39)

Ramirez says, "Mutual Aid is never having things work out evenly."  How is mutual aid different from insurance?  Does insurance work out evenly?

For further study: more questions for reflection (pdf)*


The Brethren Witness and the Search for a Culture of Peace in Africa
by Donald Miller (pages 40-50)

Donald Miller asks whether the Church of the Brethren has made any difference in the development of Christian life and faith in Africa.  What do you think?

For further study: more questions for reflection (pdf)*


The Ecumenical Dance of the Church of the Brethren and the Brethren Church
by Dale R. Stoffer (pages 51-56)

After three centuries of Christianity as a disorganized movement going in many directions, Emperor Constantine unified the church into one Holy Roman Church.  What is gained by unity? What is lost? Should the Brethren groups strive for unity?

For further study: more questions for reflection (pdf)*


How the Closed Brethren Became Open
by Dale R. Stoffer (pages 57-64)

Stoffer believes the original Brethren were quite "open" before 1850. In what way would you say they were "open"? what were they open about?

For further study: more questions for reflection (pdf)*


*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:

Subscribe NOW!Managing Editor, Brethren Life & Thought
Bethany Theological Seminary
615 National Road West
Richmond, IN  47374

For the Book Review Editor:

Brian Mackie
Master of Divinity '07

BrianSometimes it takes looking back to see God's leading in life. I graduated from Bethany in May 2007 and realized that God led my entire theological training. In the summer of 2002, however, it was a little tougher to see where it was going.

I realized my call to full-time ministry and knew it was to journey into the educational training part of my call. My campus pastor and I had several conversations about this next step. I fasted and prayed and sought the Lord but had no clear answer by the end of the fast. As I was preparing to break my fast, the Lord asked me, "What is the desire of your heart?" I replied, "Oral Roberts University."