Spring 2012 List of Books & Resources

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April 25, 2012 | Focus On | Number 9

Theology, spirituality

Atonement, Justice and Peace: The Message of the Cross and the Mission of the Church. Darrin W. Snyder Belousek. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2012, 668 pages.
Belousek explains in great detail why he believes the penal substitution theory of atonement is faulty. He believes that nonviolence is the message of the cross if God’s justice and atonement are understood properly.

Desert Spirituality and Cultural Resistance: From Ancient Monks to Mountain Refugees. Belden C. Lane. Canadian Mennonite University Press, 2011, 69 pages.
This booklet comprises the three lectures of the J. J. Thiessen Lecture Series held at Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg, on Oct. 19-20, 2010.

The End of Sacrifice: The Capital Punishment Writings of John Howard Yoder. John C. Nugent, ed. Herald Press, 2011, 287 pages.
This collection brings together John Howard Yoder’s writings about capital punishment, some not previously published. Yoder wrote various articles about the need to end the death penalty from the late 1950s until his death in the 1990s.

Forming Christian Habits in Post-Christendom: The Legacy of Alan and Eleanor Kreider. James R. Krabill and Stuart Murray, eds. Herald Press and the Institute of Mennonite Studies, 2011, 234 pages.
As well as some biographical information about the Kreiders, this book includes short essays by a variety of contributors who comment on things they learned from the Kreiders about what it means to be Christian in the world.

Go to Church, Change the World: Christian Community as Calling. Gerald J. Mast. Herald Press, 2012, 190 pages.
Mast argues that community is an important part of spirituality and explains the importance of the rites and practices of congregational life. The 15 chapters come with questions for reflection and discussion.

Killing Enmity: Violence and the New Testament. Thomas R. Yoder Neufeld. Baker Academic, 2011, 192 pages.
Participating in the conversation about whether Christians are called to nonviolence, Yoder Neufeld explores the meaning of various troublesome biblical texts. Among them are Jesus cleansing the temple, Jesus’ death and some parables that include coercion.

The Nonviolent Atonement, Second Edition. J. Denny Weaver. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2011, 346 pages.
In this expanded and revised second edition, Weaver argues that the satisfaction theory of atonement with its divinely sanctioned, retributive violence is problematic. In its stead, he offers a narrative Christus Victor image of atonement.

Present Tense: A Mennonite Spirituality. Gordon Houser. Cascadia Publishing House, 2011, 174 pages.
Houser explores what spirituality means for his Mennonite community and for himself.

Reading the Bible after Christendom. Lloyd Pietersen. Herald Press, 2012, 259 pages.
Pietersen, an Anabaptist living in England, explains how Christianity became a powerful institution in western society. Since it has lost its domi-nance, Christians should interpret the Bible more like the early church and the 16th-century Anabaptists.

Widening the Circle: Experiments in Christian Discipleship. Joanna Shenk, ed. Herald Press, 2011, 246 pages.
In the last 50 years, a variety of Mennonites and other Christians have tried to live out their faith in radical discipleship. Among the individuals and communities featured are Reba Place Fellowship, Christian Peacemaker Teams, Mennonite Voluntary Service, Winnipeg’s Little Flowers Community and Hedy Sawadsky.


Alfalfa to Ivy: Memoir of a Harvard Medical School Dean. Joseph B. Martin. The University of Alberta Press, 2011, 458 pages.
Joe Martin’s memoir gives a brief overview of his Mennonite family and his early years on a farm in southern Alberta. He gives a detailed perspective of the challenges of working in medical research and in the U.S. healthcare system.

Among the Ashes: In the Stalinkova Kolkhoz (Kontinusfeld) 1930-1935. Peter J. Rahn. Pandora Press, 2011, 300 pages.
This book contains letters sent by the Rahn family in southern Ukraine to relatives in Canada during five difficult years of the Soviet regime. The letters appear in both German and English, and have lots of commentary to show what is happening in this village in the Molotschna colony.

From Nonresistance to Justice: The Transformation of Mennonite Church Peace Rhetoric 1908-2008. Ervin R. Stutzman. Herald Press, 2011, 424 pages.
Stutzman examines how Mennonite beliefs and vocabulary about peace have changed in North America in the past hundred years. He traces the various influences on the church and how peacemaking was expressed in the 20th century.

Heirs and Joint Heirs: Mission to Church Among the Mennonite Brethren of Andhra Pradesh. Paul D. Wiebe. Kindred Productions, 2010, 408 pages.
The author, who was born and raised in India, not only explains the history and setting of Mennonite Brethren mission work there, but also identifies challenges for the future.

Howard Raid: Man of Faith and Vision. Elizabeth Raid. Pandora Press, 2011, 266 pages.
Howard Raid was a long-time professor of economics and business at Bluffton College and a founding member of the Mennonite Mutual Aid Association. He served the Mennonite church faithfully over the years, writes his daughter.

In Another Day of the Lord: The Mission Days of the Mennonite Brethren Church of India in Pictures. Paul D. Wiebe and David A. Wiebe. Kindred Productions, 2010, 155 pages.
The many photos in this collection tell the story of Mennonite Brethren missionaries working in India between 1899 and the 1970s.

Just a Kid Without a Computer: Unformatted Adventures. Hugo Neufeld. Millrise Publishing, 2011, 178 pages.
Neufeld tells a variety of stories about himself as an adventuresome child growing up on a farm near St. Catharines, Ont. Available from Millrise Publishing, 140 Millbank Close, Calgary SW, AB T2Y 2E5, or by e-mailing the author at hdneuf@shaw.ca.

Roots and Branches: A Narrative History of the Amish and Mennonites in the Southeast United States, 1892-1992, Volume 2. Martin W. Lehman. Cascadia Publishing House, 2011, 246 pages.
Carrying on the story from Volume 1, Lehman describes the Southeast Mennonite Conference from the 1960s to the 1990s. During these years, many non-traditional Mennonites joined these congregations.

Children’s Books

David’s Trip to Paraguay: The Land of Amazing Colours. Miriam Rudolph. CMU Press, 2011, 32 pages, hardcover.
The large and colourful pictures in this book tell a story from the author’s grandfather in both English and German. The move from Altona, Man., to the Menno Colony in Paraguay is told as a child’s adventure using vibrant colours.

On the Zwieback Trail: A Russian Mennonite Alphabet of Stories, Recipes and Historic Events. Lisa Weaver, Julie Kauffman and Judith Rempel Smucker. CMU Press, 2011, 72 pages, hardcover.
Using the alphabet, Weaver displays a series of vignettes of Russian Mennonite history. The illustrations and design by Kauffman and Smucker show historical photos in collage format. While many old photos are black and white, the pages also have colour.

Quills. Aaron J. Ratzlaff. Herald Press, 2011, 38 pages, hardcover.
This illustrated children’s book is about Porcupine, who feels sad and unlovable when her quills begin to fall out, but is reassured by the acceptance of her friends. It is designed for children aged 4 to 8.


With the Word: Luke. Faith & Life Resources. 56 pages.
This Bible study and devotional guide based on Luke is designed for groups or individuals. There are suggestions for group leaders, as well as seven daily devotionals for each of the eight sessions.

With the Word: Psalms. Faith & Life Resources. 68 pages.
This Bible study and devotional guide based on Psalms has a format similar to Luke, but with 10 sessions.


Escape Via Moscow, 1929 and The Women’s Burden Under Stalin. Otto Klassen. 2011, DVD, 45 minutes.
Otto Klassen continues the story of Mennonites in Russia. In 1929, thousands of Mennonites waited near Moscow, hoping to emigrate. Although some escaped, many men were imprisoned, which made life especially difficult for the women. Available from The Text to Terabyte Project online at www.mbconf.ca/cmbs.

Leaving Eden. Cheryl Denise. 2012, CD, spoken word poetry with music by Ben Regier.
The 13 spoken poems in this collection are from Cheryl Denise’s poetry published by Cascadia Publishing House’s DreamSeeker Series. The CD is available by e-mail from the poet at cheryldenisem@yahoo.com.

Mysteries of Grace and Judgement. Jack Dueck. Re-released 2011.
Through music, stories and poetry, various performers tell the story of the Mennonite sojourn in Russia, including storyteller Jack Dueck and the Sojourn Singers led by George Wiebe. The performance was recorded some years ago and is now re-released on DVD or CD. Available online at www.MysteriesOfGrace.com.

—Compiled by Barb Draper, Books & Resources editor


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