From the Editor: Essays in Honor of Paul Toews
This issue of Direction was produced by Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary and its parent institution, Fresno Pacific University. It marks the beginning of a new process which will see each of our sponsoring schools take responsibility for one issue of the journal every two and a half years. Among the hoped-for benefits of this process are greater thematic variety and contributions from a wider range of writers. This should mean that our readers will find more articles to pique their interests.
In this issue, we honor the person and work of the late Paul Toews (1940–2015), professor of history at Fresno Pacific University. For those who only knew Dr. Toews from a distance, or not at all, Kevin Enns-Rempel, editor of this collection and Toews’s colleague, nicely introduces the man, his passion, and his invaluable contributions to the study of Mennonite history, especially the history of early twentieth-century Russian Mennonites. Contributors to this issue were all enriched by Dr. Toews, whose labors were energized by the conviction that we deprive ourselves of something essential if we remain ignorant of the advances and tragic reversals of those who have gone before us.
I thank Kevin for bringing together an intriguing collection of essays and for the care with which he has prepared this issue. I’m certain that readers will find themselves affected by the accounts of the recent Mennonite and Mennonite Brethren past: inspired by the courageously faithful, sympathetic to those whose good-faith decisions brought unintended consequences, and imbued anew with a sense of responsibility to those who will come after us.