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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

Matt Boersma
Master of Arts

MattMy thesis began its journey while learning Hebrew at the University of Notre Dame, back when I was an employee in the Information Technology department. Among the many Hebrew texts read, it was the Song of Songs in particular that caught my attention. I knew that historically it had been interpreted as an allegorical text exploring God's love of Israel (or the church), but I had not encountered the deeply sensual nature of the images and the erotic tone of the text. Reading through the book, the unabashed sexuality of the words struck me as completely different than how the rest of the Bible treats sex. During the previous semester we had read selections of Ezekiel, where sex and female desire is cast as idolatrous and evil. In the Song, it is unashamed and extolled.