Spring 2011 List of Books & Resources

April 27, 2011 | Focus On | Number 9

Theology, spirituality

Christians and War: A Brief History of the Church’s Teachings and Practices. A. James Reimer. Augsburg Fortress Press, 2010, 192 pages.

Published soon after his death, this little book is based on courses Reimer taught. It examines biblical passages and just war thinking as well as modern concepts of war. It is suitable for group study.

Day by Day These Things We Pray: Uncovering Ancient Rhythms of Prayer. Arthur Boers. Herald Press, 2010, 235 pages.

In this revision and expansion of Boers’ earlier book, The Rhythm of God’s Grace, he explores the history of how Christians have prayed over the centuries and presents a case for regular morning and evening prayers.

The Ethics of Evangelism: A Philosophical Defense of Proselytizing and Persuasion. Elmer John Thiessen. InterVarsity Academic Press, 2011, 288 pages.

Thiessen reviews and refutes various contemporary objections to religious prosely-tizing and explains how evangelism is ethical.

Going Missional: Conversations with 13 Canadian Churches Who Have Embraced Missional Life. Karen Stiller and Willard Metzger. Word Alive Press, 2010, 160 pages.

For each of the 13 congregations from across Canada, Metzger writes a short introduction while Stiller describes their new mission ventures. The chapters conclude with lessons learned by the congregations and questions for group discussion.

The Limits of Perfection: Proceedings of the Ninth Annual Goshen Conference on Religion and Science. Noreen Herzfeld. Pandora Press, 2010, 120 pages.

In her lectures and answers to questions, Herzfeld, a Quaker and computer scientist, argues that humans have limits and cannot reach ultimate perfection, not in science, theology or mathematics.

Living More With Less: 30th Anniversary Edition. Doris Janzen Longacre, revised and edited by Valerie Weaver-Zercher. Herald Press, 2010, 255 pages.

This up-dated edition includes parts of the original book published in 1980, but also includes many new suggestions and stories for living simply and earth-friendly. There are many personal anecdotes from a wide variety of North American Mennonites.

The Spirituality of Sex. Michael Schwartzentruber, Mary Millerd, Charlotte Jackson and Lois Huey-Heck, Wood Lake Publishing Inc., 160 pages.

This hardcover book explores the relationship between sexuality and spirituality.

Teaching That Transforms: Why Anabaptist-Mennonite Education Matters. John D. Roth. Herald Press, 2011, 236 pages.

Roth explores the question of the future of Christian education and gives a theological foundation for education from an Anabaptist-Mennonite perspective.

Worship and Mission After Christendom. Alan Kreider and Eleanor Kreider. Herald Press, 2010, 322 pages.

As well as showing how worship and mission have changed as society has become less Christian in recent decades, the Kreiders reflect on how worship and mission can be most beneficial for our modern world.

You Welcomed Me: Interfaith Spiritual Care in the Hospital. Leah Dawn Bueckert and Daniel S. Schipani, eds. Pandora Press, 2010, 210 pages.

The essays in this collection explore interfaith spiritual care, building on Bueckert and Schipani’s previous book, Spiritual Caregiving in the Hospital (2006). Some of the essays are personal reflections on providing care for those whose faith is other than Christian.


At the Forks: Mennonites in Winnipeg. Leo Driedger. Pandora Press, 2010, 400 pages.

Driedger, professor emeritus at the University of Manitoba, explains how and why Mennonites have moved to the city of Winnipeg and what they have been doing there for 100 years.

Cities of Refuge: Stories from Anabaptist-Mennonite History and Life. Harry Loewen. Pandora Press, 2010, 344 pages.

The 38 stories in this collection are set in a variety of places, from the early days of Anabaptism to Mennonites of the 20th century. Loewen’s first collection of historical tales, No Permanent City, was published in 1993.

Defending Constantine: The Twilight of an Empire and the Dawn of Christendom. Peter J. Leithart. InterVarsity Press, 2010, 375 pages.

This defence of Constantine argues that John Howard Yoder’s characterization of the church in the fourth century is wrong. Leithart, a pastor in the Reformed tradition, is not convinced by Yoder’s claim that Jesus was a pacifist.

European Mennonite Voluntary Service: Youth Idealism in Post-World War II Europe. Calvin Wall Redekop. Cascadia Publishing House and Herald Press, 2010, 130 pages.

Redekop describes the spread of work camps for Mennonite youths throughout Europe from 1948-72. Although the European model ended abruptly, voluntary service has been continued with the German Christliche Dienst program.

History and Mission in Europe: Continuing the Conversation. Mary Raber and Peter J. Penner, eds. Institute of Mennonite Studies and Neufeld Verlag, 2011, distributed by Herald Press.

A Festschrift in honour of Walter Sawatsky, Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary professor of church history and mission.

Side by Side: A Memoir of Parents, Anna Enns and Heinrich M. Epp. Linda Epp Sawatzky. Privately published, 2010, 185 pages, hardcover.

This family history with lots of photos and maps traces the story of the Enns-Epp family who came to Canada from Russia in the 1920s. After about 20 years in Manitoba, the Epps began berry farming in B.C. and today the descendants are scattered across Canada.

Other Books

Collected Stories/1955-2010.  Rudy Wiebe. University of Alberta Press, 2010, 552 pages.

This collection of 50 short stories by Rudy Wiebe includes four that have not been previously published.

Create Space for Peace: Forty Years of Peacemaking, Gene Stoltzfus 1940-2010. Dorothy Friesen, Marilen Abesamis, eds. TriMark Press Inc., 2011, 256 pages.

This collection of writings by and about Gene Stoltzfus tells the story of his work in peacemaking, including his efforts to bring an end to the Vietnam War. Stoltzfus was the original director of Christian Peacemaker Teams.

Favoured Among Women. Hedy Leonora Martens. CMU Press, 2010, 425 pages.

This historical novel is based on the biography of Greta Enns, who was raised in a Mennonite village in Ukraine. The first of two volumes, it describes the difficulties of living in post-revolutionary Russia and the purges of the 1930s. It ends with Greta and her family fleeing from their homes during World War II.

Mennonites Don’t Dance. Darcie Friesen Hossack. Thistledown Press, 2010, 205 pages.

The short stories in this collection are set on the Prairies. Several are told from a child’s perspective, presumably in a Mennonite family of the mid-20th century.

Setting the Agenda: Meditations for the Organization’s Soul. Edgar Stoesz and Rick M. Stiffney. Herald Press, 2011, 290 pages.

Edgar Stoesz has written widely about organizational boards and how to run effective board meetings. This book provides advice about spirituality in the boardroom and includes 90 meditations by a variety of writers.

Tongue Screws and Testimonies: Poems, Stories and Essays Inspired by the Martyrs Mirror. Kirsten Eve Beachy, ed. Herald Press, 2010, 224 pages.

The various poems and stories in this collection provide a contemporary view of what it means to be Anabaptist. Among the contributors are Rudy Wiebe, Di Brandt, Julia Spicher Kasdorf, Rhoda Janzen and many others.

Whatever Happened to Dinner? Recipes and Reflections for Family Mealtimes. Melodie M. Davis with Jodi Nisly Herzler and Carmen Wyse. Herald Press, 2010, 241 pages.

As well as reflecting on the importance of families eating meals together, Davis provides a number of simple and inexpensive recipes. She encourages families to meet at the table by suggesting ways to deal with the challenges.


Close to Home pamphlets, Mennonite Publishing Network. Two of the 19 available are “Dealing with Elder Abuse” and “Dealing with Electronic Addiction.” Visit www.mpn.net/closetohome.

Kids Can Make Peace and Kids Can Dig the Bible. Kids’ Club curriculum for grades 1 to 5. Each unit has 10 sessions, with Bible stories, crafts and activities, games and music. Visit www.faithandliferesources.org/curriculum.

Let the Children Come: Preparing Faith Communities to End Child Abuse and Neglect. Jeanette Harder. Herald Press, 2010.

With real-life stories and discussion questions, this book provides information so that churches can keep their children safe.

—Compiled by Barb Draper,
Books & Resources editor.

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