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

You are here

Brethren Life & Thought Vol 54 No 4 (Fall 2009)

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

This issue 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 when 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 erase our sorrows of the past.  And a paper first circulated at Annual Conference in 2009, by Earle Fike, Jim Lehman, Bill Eberly and Elaine Sollenberger, explores the use of forbearance as a uniquely Brethren process for working together and for discerning the will of God on difficult issues.

Imitating God: Nickel Mines, Forgiveness, and Yoder
by Donald Kraybill

Grapple with some of the questions raised by the issue of forgiveness.  Does forgiveness mean pardon?  Must a perpetrator apologize before a victim forgives?  Does forgiveness bring reconciliation?

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


The Recovery of Brethren Forbearance
by Earle Fike, Jr.

Where in the New Testament do you see examples of the practice of forbearance?

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


A Distinguished Sound
by Christopher Bowman

When is the church too diverse?  When is it too unified?   How do we strike a balance?  What are some of the common values that hold the church together?

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


Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death: Sacred and Secular Responses
by Flora Williams

“When in trouble, praise God.”  Flora did not ask God for help when she was seriously injured.  She offered praise.  When difference would it make to praise God when our first impulse is to seek comfort, guidance, or strength?

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:

Nan Erbaugh
Emphasis in Peace Studies '08

NanBethany taught me so much. I didn't realize what a loner I had really been all my life until I opened myself to life within the Bethany community. I felt stretched, pushed, and affirmed in amazing, helpful ways. The importance of a close, supportive community cannot be overestimated, especially in light of the challenges faced living out the peace witness to which I feel called. At Bethany, I gained more courage to step into this crucial niche of the Church of the Brethren. Add the grounded, spiritual theological foundation and academic depth I gained through course work, and I feel transformed in a powerful, positive way to serve God.