From the Editors: The Church as a Covenant Community
On October 15-17, 1986, three hundred and fifteen Mennonite Brethren pastors, lay leaders and teachers assembled in Fresno to reflect historically and biblically on the concepts and practices of the Mennonite Brethren church (Canada and the United States).
The stimulus for the discussion came from five papers which were read at the plenary sessions. We are pleased to present those papers in this issue of Direction in an edited form. Copies of the original, full-length versions may be obtained by writing to Dr. John E. Toews, Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary, 4824 E. Butler Avenue, Fresno, CA 93727-5097. A series of five Bible studies, presented by Dr. John E. Toews, centered the thoughts of the conference participants on the theme of the Kingdom of God. We regret that those studies are not available for publication at this time.
The five papers published here were designed to focus the issue of the church as a covenant community in categories drawn from biblical and historical Anabaptist perspectives. The frequency with which the words “crisis,” “new,” and “change” occurred suggest the crucial character of the conference for Mennonite Brethren. We trust that those readers who belong to other religious traditions will draw both encouragement and insight from this denomination’s wrestling with the nature of the church.
The April, 1987 issue of Direction will center on the correspondingly crucial theme of “Missions in a Rapidly Changing World.”