July 1978 · Vol. 7 No. 3 · p. 2 

In This Issue

Delbert L. Wiens

This issue of Direction will appear shortly before the Mennonite World Conference convenes at the end of July in Wichita, Kansas. As a salute to this Conference, the editors have solicited articles which reflect the variety of our relations with other Mennonites and with Mennonite Brethren and other Christians in other parts of the world.

In the lead article, John A. Toews combines the forward vision appropriate to the Moderator of the General Conference of the North American Mennonite Brethren with the historical perspective demonstrated as the writer of A History of the Mennonite Brethren Church. He summons us both to repentance for past failures and to boldness in new ventures.

His call for inter-Mennonite cooperation in new ways of relating to each other and the rest of the world gains credence from the articles which report on the churches of South America, China, and India.

Gerhard Ratzlaff, who is both a historian and pastor of a Paraguayan Mennonite Brethren Church, describes the sometimes rocky progress toward mutual respect and productive cooperation in mission which now generally marks the relationship of Paraguayan and North American Mennonite Brethren.

Henry G. Krahn’s sobering, yet hopeful, report on the church in China reminds us that our Western attempts to build a church in our own image seems not to be God’s continuing will. Katie Funk Wiebe reports from India that at least certain Western forms and aid remain helpful, though even here reassessment may be necessary.

And three reviewers give careful attention to important recent books by Mennonites for Mennonites on how we relate to our past, to each other, and to our present age.