Spring 2010 List of Books & Resources

May 3, 2010 | Focus On | Volume 14 Issue 9
Canadian Mennonite |


1 & 2 Timothy, Titus. Paul M. Zehr. Herald Press, 2010, 406 pages.

This is the 22nd volume of the Believers Church Bible Commentary Series. Zehr has many years of experience as a pastor and teacher, including at Eastern Mennonite Seminary.

Apocalypse and Allegiance: Worship, Politics and Devotion in the Book of Revelation. J. Nelson Kraybill. Brazos Press, 2010, 224 pages.

Using uncomplicated language, Kraybill explains what the book of Revelation meant to Christians of the first century and how they would have interpreted its many symbols. He also relates these symbols to the 21st century. Each of the 12 chapters has questions for reflection.

Jesus Matters: Good News for the 21st Century. James R. Krabill and David W. Shenk, eds. Herald Press, 2009, 259 pages.

Familiar Mennonite teachers and theologians, along with one or more young adults, wrote these chapters about various aspects of Jesus. Each of the 16 chapters includes questions for discussion.

The Naked Anabaptist: The Bare Essentials of a Radical Faith. Stuart Murray. Herald Press, 2010, 191 pages.

Murray explores Anabaptist beliefs without the “clothes” of Mennonite or Amish tradition. Using the seven core convictions of the Anabaptist Network, he explains how the Anabaptist vision has played out in history. Murray, who lives in London, England, does not see himself as Mennonite, but he believes Anabaptism has important principles for the modern world, including modern Mennonites.

New Perspectives in Believers Church Ecclesiology. Abe Dueck, Helmut Harder and Karl Koop, eds. CMU Press, 2010, 325 pages.

The papers of this collection were presented at the 16th Believers Church Conference, held in 2008 at Canadian Mennonite University. Among the many topics addressed are the rise of Mennonite denominations in Manitoba, the role of women in the Mennonite Brethren Church and the role of communion and baptism in today’s Mennonite churches.

Planting Churches in the 21st Century: A Guide for Those Who Want Fresh Perspectives and New Ideas for Creating Congregations. Stuart Murray. Herald Press, 2010, 227 pages.

Murray, an urban church planter in England, provides thoughtful reflections about planting churches in a postmodern environment. His comments are not specific to any denomination or country, and his experience allows him to offer some very practical advice. Each of the eight chapters has questions for reflection.

Satyagraha and Nonresistance: A Comparative Study of Gandhian and Mennonite Nonviolence. Weyburn Groff. AMBS Institute of Mennonite Studies and Herald Press, 2009, 210 pages.

Groff spent many years in India under the Mennonite Board of Missions. This is his doctoral dissertation, written in 1963, which compares the ideas of Gandhi to Mennonite beliefs about nonviolence.

Science and Origins: Probing the Deeper Questions. Holmes Rolston III, Carl S. Helrich, eds. Pandora Press, 2009, 174 pages.

This book contains the lectures and discussion from the 2008 Goshen College Conference on Religion and Science. Rolston, a professor of philosophy, probes various scientific questions about the origins of life, including whether human self-awareness makes humans different from other species.

Theology as if Jesus Matters: An Introduction to Christianity’s Main Convictions. Ted Grimsrud. Cascadia Publishing and Herald Press, 2009, 230 pages.

Writing in a practical, down-to-earth way, using lots of personal anecdotes, Grimsrud examines Christianity’s beliefs: God, Jesus, the Bible, the church, end times and more. He believes that Jesus’ teachings need to be central to Christianity’s main convictions. Grimsrud is a professor of theology and peace studies at Eastern Mennonite University. This book could be useful for discussion groups.

Under Construction: Reframing Men’s Spirituality. Gareth Brandt. Herald Press, 2009, 225 pages.

Brandt explores male spirituality, using the stories of Joseph as a jumping-off point. He began this project because he was dissatisfied with other resources available. The appendix includes several questions for each of the 13 chapters so that this book could be used for discussion groups.


Crossing Frontiers. Helmut Lemke. Authorhouse Publishing, 2009, 284 pages.

In this autobiography, Lemke describes his life as a Mennonite in West Prussia before and during World War II. He is appreciative of the work of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) after the war in supporting refugees and assisting Mennonite congregations.

In the Wilds of Turkestan. Hermann Jantzen, translated by Erica Jantzen. Waterloo: Waterpark Publishing, 2009, 207 pages.

Hermann Jantzen (1866-1959) was part of the Great Trek of Mennonites from Ukraine to Central Asia in 1880. Before the Russian Revolution he served as a translator, forester and missionary in Turkestan. His autobiography, Im Wilden Turkestan, was published in German in 1988. The translation is available by calling 519-883-0217.

Minnesota Meanderings: The Amish Mennonite Settlement in Nobles County, Minnesota, 1891-1910. Earl Meyers et al, privately published, 2010.

In the early 1890s several Amish Mennonite families from Ontario began a community in southwestern Minnesota. The book includes genealogical information and a history of this settlement that lasted 20 years. It is available by e-mail at ce.myers@yahoo.ca.

A School on the Prairie: A Centennial History of Hesston College, 1909-2009. John E. Sharp. Cascadia Publishing House and Herald Press, 2009, 503 pages.

Sharp’s history of Hesston College is a well-told story of the people who worked together to make Hesston a viable Mennonite school. He highlights the various personalities of campus life, but also sets his vignettes within the ongoing trends of the Mennonite church and society.

Susanne Remembers: A Mennonite Childhood in Revolutionary Russia. Susanne Willms Thielman. Judson Lake House Publications, Abbotsford, B.C, 2009, 166 pages.

With lots of drawings and photographs, this hardcover book with glossy pages presents the story of a young girl’s life in Molotschna Colony in Russia in the 1920s. Excerpts from the writings of Susanne’s father, H. J. Willms, add an adult perspective to the years of the Russian Revolution and the escape from Soviet Russia in 1929.

War, Peace and Social Conscience: Guy F. Hershberger and Mennonite Ethics. Theron F. Schlabach. Herald Press, 2009, 726 pages.

This thorough and perceptive biography of Guy Hershberger (1896-1989), a prominent leader of the Mennonite church in the mid-20th century, also provides good analysis of the Mennonite church of that era. The author taught American Mennonite history at Goshen College for many years.

Women in Early Austrian Anabaptism: Their Days, Their Stories. Linda A. Huebert Hecht. Pandora Press, 2009, 290 pages.

Hecht has translated court records from the 1500s to tell stories of Anabaptist women in Austria, many of who were martyred. These are new stories that are not found in other sources. Hecht also provides historical context for these Anabaptists in Austria.

Other Books

Affluenza Interrupted: Stories of Hope from the Suburbs. Doreen and Hugo Neufeld. Sunrise Publishing, 2009.

Using short stories, Doreen and Hugo Neufeld reflect on their experience of moving to the suburbs after having served in a poor inner-city neighbourhood. The book is available through Herald Press.

Ask Third Way Café: 50 Common and Quirky Questions About Mennonites. Jodi Nisly Hertzler. Cascadia Publishing House and Herald Press, 2009, 82 pages.

Hertzler has put together 50 questions and answers that have been posed to the Third Way Café website from all over the world. The range of topics is wide, from theological beliefs and dress to what is an appropriate wedding gift for a Mennonite.

Miracle Temple. Esther Yoder Stenson. Cascadia Publishing House and Herald Press, 2009, 120 pages.

This collection of poems includes many with the voice of an Amish young woman, some reaching back to the early 20th century.

Nehemiah Response: How to Make it Through Your Crisis. Nelson Roth. Tate Publishing, 2009.

Roth, a Mennonite pastor, experienced the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and organized a ministry responding to needs in his community. The book includes many stories from this ministry and provides a plan for any church responding to a crisis. It is also available in e-book or audio book formats.

Timna. Lucille Travis. Herald Press, 2009, 167 pages.

In this story, designed for young readers, Timna, the wife of one of Noah’s sons, finds herself in an adventurous situation.

Together We Can: Our Seven-Month Journey with the MCC Mobile Meat Canner, 2008-2009. Wanda L. Yoder. Masthof Press, 2010, 110 pages.

Wanda and Loren Yoder travelled with the MCC meat canner to 37 different sites where meat was canned for relief. Wanda also collected a quilt block at each site. The book has many delightful pictures.

Woldemar Neufeld’s Canada: A Mennonite Artist in the Canadian Landscape, 1925-1995. Laurence Neufeld and Monica McKillen, eds.; Hildi Froese Tiessen and Paul Tiessen, text. Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2010, 146 pages.

This large hardcover book includes 241 plates of Woldemar Neufeld’s paintings and block prints, as well as the story of his life and the development of his art. Neufeld emigrated from Ukraine to Canada in 1924 at the age of 14 and his artwork includes many scenes from his years in Waterloo Region.

—Compiled by Barb Draper, Books & Resources editor.

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