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

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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
blt@bethanyseminary.edu
 

For the Book Review Editor:
bltbookreview@bethanyseminary.edu

John Smith
(MDiv Connections)

classMy wife Barbara and I first visited Bethany in June 2009. After spending two days meeting with faculty and staff I returned home even more uncertain. Did I really want to devote the time this program required? Was I willing to learn computer skills that didn't even exist when I finished college in 1972? Was I willing to make the eight-hour drive that would occasionally be necessary? Was this really what God was calling me to do at this time in my life? From the very beginning, I came as I am, but went not as I came. Little did I know how this Bethany tag line would time and time again ring true for my educational experience.