John Howard Yoder – Mennonite Patience, Evangelical Witness, Catholic Convictions

by Mark Thiessen Nation (Eerdmans, 2006) reviewed by Andrew Francis

In the Forward, Stanley Hauerwas writes ‘This book will clearly make Mark Nation the scholar of record about matters Yoder’. He is right. This is the best introduction to reading Yoder on the market – apart from reading Yoder himself.

Little things mean a lot

I bumped into Jeff (not his real name) on my way to the weekly communion service in the grounds of the mental health care centre where he is living these days.

'Hi, Jeff! How are you? Are you coming to the service today?'

'Well, no, I don’t think so. I've got a cough and sore throat, and I'm a bit bothered about all the stuff in the Bible about war …'

'I'm sorry you've got a sore throat. I do hope it will be better soon. Maybe I'll see you at the service another day …'

The Edge of Heaven

Directed by Fatih Akin, to be released in North America in May

Living in Germany in the early 90’s, I heard countless complaints about the growing Turkish population in that country. Invited to help rebuild Germany after the war, Turks have now been living in Germany for generations, in the midst of a people who have a very set way of doing things. This has resulted in a lot of tension and even violence. People have not treated each other as they should. With Turkey on the verge of joining the European Union, which is uniting a continent that feels completely different than it did twenty years ago, will people learn to live with each other in a new way in the 21st century?

Woody Allen, Violence and Cassandra’s Dream

Vic Thiessen, March 2008

Woody Allen has always been one of the world’s most unique filmmakers. While his best work may be behind him, Allen continues to make films that inspire us to think deeply about what drives us and our society. In two of my favourite Allen films, Crimes and Misdemeanors and Match Point, Allen explores the theme of violence and why it is so easy for some people to kill others. His view seems to be that this can only happen in a world without a God. Allen continues this theme in his most recnt film, Cassandra’s Dream, but I detected something new in his pessimistic view.

Happiness and Mike Leigh’s Happy-Go-Lucky

Vic Thiessen, May, 2008

“Are you happy in your life?” the protagonist in Mike Leigh’s latest film, Happy-Go-Lucky, asks her new friend. The response: “That’s a big question!”

Planetwise - Dare to Care for God’s World

by Dave Bookless published by IVP (2008)
Reviewed by Jo Rathbone

Dave’s book is a clearly-written introduction (to those particularly from an evangelical background) as to why we should be caring for God’s creation. Perhaps the best paragraphs are in the introduction where he says that this is not an issue simply because we have to address climate change, but because climate change is a symptom of a deep malaise in our society which is bad for the planet. We have to root out a much more deeply embedded issue to do with the nature of our being, and our attitude to God’s creation.

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