Are commentaries cheating? Marlin emphasizes first hand direct engagement with the text of scripture. If used carefully, commentaries can actually help this process. Marlin also discusses free study resources and biblical language tools. This conversation continues themes from Marlin’s essay “The Inside-Out Sandwich.”
Listen to Marlin’s essay here
See detailed tips for Bible study from Frank Reed's article Studying the Word of God | Anabaptist Perspectives
This is the 156th episode of Anabaptist Perspectives, a podcast, blog, and YouTube channel that examines various aspects of conservative Anabaptist life and thought.
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The views expressed by our guests are solely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Anabaptist Perspectives or Wellspring Mennonite Church.
What does humility mean for studying the Bible? Can only the educated understand scripture? Vince and Roseanne respond to audience comments from Vince’s prior episodes with Anabaptist Perspectives. How can we grow in our understanding of Scripture? Do we need to have an answer for every question?
What did a team of four students learn when they spent several days (and nights) on the streets of Dallas? Their goal was to hear from people experiencing homelessness and get a small taste of that Homelessness directly affects about 580,000 Americans, but most of us don’t encounter these individuals face to face. Our guests in this episode temporarily surrendered their comfort and ease to live among those who have been less fortunate.
View the project website.
Here is the testimony they mentioned from their emergency contact.
Years ago John taught the book of Luke in a high school classroom. This launched his journey of faith into what he terms “voluntary poverty,” or non-accumulation of wealth. In this episode he shares some practical parts of this journey and comments on when the rubber meets the road in his later years.
It is good to work and to be invested in our work. Distributism fits well with traditional Anabaptist values, even though it has largely been articulated by Catholic thinkers. Stephen Russell urges us to “look at distributism and see how it fits with what we have traditionally tried to do, and learn from it”. These themes include valuing craftsmanship, family businesses, and widespread ownership of the tools and infrastructure needed for business.
The Hound of Distributism edited by Richard Altman:
What’s Wrong with the World by G.K. Chesterton:
Economic Policy Institute, “CEOs were paid 351 times as much as a typical worker in 2020.”
Guild of St. Joseph and St. Dominique: “Men rich in virtue studying beautifulness living in peace in their houses.”
“Men always work harder and more readily when they work on that which belongs to them; nay, they learn to love the very soil that yields in response to the labor of their hands, not only food to eat, but an abundance of good things for themselves and those that are dear to them. That such a spirit of willing labor would add to the produce of the earth and to the wealth of the community is self evident.”
“Just as it is gravely wrong to take from individuals what they can accomplish by their own initiative and industry and give it to the community, so also it is an injustice and at the same time a grave evil and disturbance of right order to assign to a greater and higher association what lesser and subordinate organizations can do. For every social activity ought of its very nature to furnish help to the members of the body social, and never destroy and absorb them.
Watch Stephen’s testimony about exiting political engagement on YouTube.
What does Scripture have to say about loaning money at interest? Do Old Testament prohibitions apply to us? How does collecting interest fit with working with our own hands and being productive?
Stephen Russell gives us glimpses into how the church has thought about this over the last two millenia, and how Christian thinking changed as economic systems changed. Stephen calls us to see God’s heart as revealed in the Old Testament year of Jubilee.
Recommended Resource: https://www.crisismagazine.com/2011/catholics-and-usury-a-tragic-history
Is the kingdom message socialism? What does the New Testament say about interest and lending? What about interest on business loans? And what really is laying up treasures in heaven? John calls us back to the willingness to give and share as the foundational issue for all of these questions.
Money has rarely been far removed from the biblical narratives or major conversations of the church since the New Testament. Between the close of the New Testament and the protestant reformation, the church had much to say about usury. Stephen Russell, a student of history, orients us to the church’s premodern stance on usury.
Recommended resource: https://www.crisismagazine.com/2011/catholics-and-usury-a-tragic-history
Kevin Brechbill urges business owners to pay employees well think carefully about where to give money, and to build accountability and transparency around their role as business owners.
Money, Possessions, Eternity by Randy Alcorn: https://amzn.to/3ujopoy
What are the basic ideas for understanding how Christians should value and relate to money? John D. Martin points us to the Old Testament year of Jubilee and Jesus’s teachings about laying up treasures. He challenges us to embrace Jesus’s values and ensure we are worshiping him, not money.
· Through the Eye of a Needle by Roger Hertzler: https://scrollpublishing.com/products/through-the-eye-of-a-needle/
· Various works by James M. Stayer: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/82831.James_M_Stayer