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Brethren Life & Thought Vol 55 No 1 and 2 (Winter/Spring 2010)

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Basin and TowelThe cover date is Winter and Spring 2010, yet this volume mailed to subscribers on April 20, 2011.  This volume is a themed issue, which was part of the reason for the delay.  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.


Steve Schweitzer article (pages 1 – 9)

Schweitzer says, “This point bears repeating, given the long history of Christian condemnation of sexuality and the general embarrassment about it: sexuality is not sinful; sexuality is not condemned; sexuality is not the problem.”  If sexuality is not the problem, what is the problem?

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

Ted Grimsrud article (pages 10 – 23)

The Mennonite Confession of Faith notes that, “Today’s church needs to uphold the permanency of marriage and help couples in conflict move toward reconciliation. At the same time, the church, as a reconciling and forgiving community, offers healing and new beginnings. The church is to bring strength and healing to inpiduals and families.”  To what extent should the church lay down the rules of relationships and to what extent should it offer healing to Christians in broken relationships? That is, the church has more than one role here. How do we know when to condemn and when to be compassionate?

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

Chad Myers article (pages 24 – 27)

Myers challenges us to understand what it means to “sin no more.” Does Jesus refer in this passage to those who judge? Those who violate biblical ethics? Those who fail to take the Bible seriously? Who exactly? 

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

Eric Brubaker article (pages 28 – 37)

Eric Brubaker describes in detail why he believes the Bible reserves marriage for one male and one female. That takes care of who can be married. But what is marriage? How does it differ from “living with” someone? What role should the church play in marriage? What role should the state play in marriage? What is a covenant in general? How does it apply to marriage?

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

John Gingrich article (pages 38 – 42)

Seniors face many challenges of aging. Young people also face the challenges of age—the lack of it and a lack of experience. What are some of the advantages of age and experience when it comes to senior sexuality?

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

Ruthann Johansen article (pages 43 – 52)

Drawing upon your knowledge of the Brethren movement, what gave early Brethren inspiration and courage to align themselves against intolerance and corruption of the dominant church and the state?

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

Jim Beckwith article (pages 62 – 71)

All denominations struggle with pision and disagreements. What has been the key to unity in the Church of the Brethren? 

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:

Katie Shaw Thompson
Master of Divinity

BethanyI have to admit I had no idea how much my cross-cultural trip to Marburg, Germany, would broaden my perspective. By immersing myself in German culture, I learned more about hospitality, theology, global politics, my neighbor, and myself than I thought possible in two weeks.

I was overwhelmed by the hospitality shown to us by the parish church and our host families. I will forever be grateful for those conversations across the table, across cultural differences, and across language barriers about the things that matter deeply to us all.