From the Editor: Different Worlds
And [Jesus] said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation.” Mark 16:15 (NRSV)
Followers of Christ are called to proclaim God’s good news throughout all the world. While the words of Jesus designate a geographic “going” throughout a physical world, it seems an appropriate extension of his command to also consider other “worlds” in which human beings regularly live, work, and have their being. This issue of Direction represents a diversity of such worlds, perhaps more extensive than we have previously offered.
This diversity stretches across time, from the sixteenth century to the present; it spans educational levels among our authors, from students to established scholars; it spans ministries, from those still searching or training, to those in pastoral and mission roles, to those in academia; it crosses cultures, from Canada and the U.S. to India; and it spans academic disciplines, including theology, history, practical theology, philosophy, biblical studies, and geography. Additional worlds (age, gender) could also be noted.
From among these worlds, Frances F. Hiebert provides an overview of Anabaptist perspectives on the atonement, and emphasizes how they distinguish themselves from those of the Magisterial leaders of the Reformation. As we pass the 125th anniversary of MBs in North America, John B. Toews discusses the phenomenon of itinerant MB pastoral leadership in 1890s Russia. Also concerned with leadership is E. D. Solomon who speaks from within the MB church of India.
David S. Faber brings something new to Direction readers: the discipline of philosophy. His focus is a debate now current within epistemological studies. Also engaging the field of philosophy is Ryan Topping who defends the possibility of a distinctively Christian practice of that discipline. Lori Kantymir helps us appreciate the life-preserving function of God’s commandments to Israel, while Greg Epp brings biblical faith into dialogue with Geographical studies.
In Ministry Compass, David Dyck considers the similarities between the covenant of marriage and the covenant of church membership. Reviews of eight books then supplement the diverse worlds presented in this issue. An abstract of Jon Isaak’s doctoral dissertation, inadvertently omitted from the spring issue, and three-year indexes of the journal complete the offerings for this fall. Direction has now completed its thirtieth year. A cumulative thirty-year index in several word processor formats is now available for $10 (US and International) and $12 (Cdn) postage paid.
May we serve our Lord with skill, zeal, and joy within the particular worlds to which we bring the good news.
The spring 2002 issue will be devoted to youth and ministry to youth.