In This Issue: Living in Two Kingdoms
We bring you this double issue (January and April) with our apologies. “The best laid plans of mice and men . . .”
The entire issue centers in the implications of living in two kingdoms, the kingdom of God and the kingdom of this world. This world is characterized by a lust for power, and a longing for security. Wally Kroeker captures that aspect of our life in this world by portraying the frantic accumulation of ever-increasingly “effective” weapons of destruction.
Both Mervin Dick and Devon Wiens articulate the biblical message of peace. They portray the citizen of the kingdom of God as one who engages the forces of evil with spiritual weapons rather than with cold steel. Both find the center of our reconciling ministry in this world in the person and example of Christ.
That active witness to peace contrasts with what Richard Kyle depicts as the dominant response of Mennonite Brethren to the kingdom of this world, namely withdrawal or non-involvement. Indeed, Mike Klassen argues that the church, and the Anabaptists in particular are confronted by a substantially different world in this post-Einsteinian era than before. The implications are both challenging and frightening.
The more pluralistic our society becomes, the more accommodating we appear to be. As a result, our witness becomes a generalized encouragement to “live out the biblical message as best we can.” How does one faithfully interact with the non-Christian world? This is the subject of Elmer Thiessen’s strong defense of and encouragement to evangelize without intolerance. Henry Ekkert projects himself and all of us into acceptance of our world, a world characterized by urbanism. Christians cannot continue to escape from the concentration of human problems and evil by running from the city.
While there are many forces which drive us apart, Walter Unger points to and promotes an ecumenical spirit which is drawing Mennonite Brethren and General Conference Mennonites back together after a century of tension and arms-length relationships.