Published on
Thursday, May 19th, 2022

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.”

Read Marlin’s essay The Inside-out Sandwich: An Approach to Studying and Teaching the Bible | Anabaptist Perspectives

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.

Published on
Thursday, April 28th, 2022

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. 


A listener asks, "What really is God's name?" Does it matter if we refer to God as Yahweh or Jehovah? Do we need to use the divine name or can we just use titles like God or Lord? Marlin fills in a little biblical backstory and argues that using God's name is helpful, but not strictly necessary.

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Published on
Thursday, March 17th, 2022

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.

Recommended Resources:

· Through the Eye of a Needle by Roger Hertzler:

· Various works by James M. Stayer:

Authored By

  • Marlin Sommers
Published On
Saturday, October 9th, 2021

Your heart matters. We are to love and honor God in our hearts. Pseudo-religion from an evil heart offends God. But what is the heart? Or, more to the point for this essay, what should the heart be contrasted with?  

Some people contrast our hearts with our actions; what’s in the heart, versus what we do. Jesus, on the other hand contrasts the heart with the lips. What we really are, versus the front we put on with our words. Instead of talking about people who did the right things but had bad hearts, he talked about people who said (some of) the right things with their lips but had bad hearts.  

We do much better to follow Jesus in contrasting the heart with the lips, rather than adopting the modern habit of contrasting the heart with our actions. Jesus quotes the prophet Isaiah “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.” He describes how they generate a pious appearance with careful rules about washing their hands (for ritual purity), and fine words about their wealth belonging to God while engaging in substantive wrong by withholding support from their own parents (Matthew 15:1-9). 

Published on
Wednesday, June 16th, 2021

What is it like to live closely with Christians from a different culture? Daniel shares stories of his interaction with the Chinese church. His faith was challenged and he saw the need to accept the simple interpretation of the Bible.

Published on
Wednesday, May 19th, 2021

Does being human require tradition? What are examples of tradition in Scripture? Kyle Stoltzfus explains the necessity of tradition in Christianity.
“This is about benefiting from, appreciating, and participating in a cultural legacy larger than oneself. The central burden is that we are recipients of spiritual and moral wealth. We can respond in a variety of ways to this: indulgently, critically, or constructively.”
This is the second part of a three-part series with Kyle. Consider listening to episode 127 if you have not already.
Music: "The Basket" by Blue Dot Sessions

Published on
Wednesday, May 12th, 2021

Daniel felt God’s call to serve in China. While planting churches in China, he started applying parts of the Bible that are frequently associated with Anabaptism. Listen to Daniel’s encouraging journey of being sold out to Christ and his work.
In an upcoming episode Daniel shares more stories of the Chinese church.

Published on
Wednesday, April 7th, 2021

How can we study the Bible with those who do not have a Christian background? Which parts of the scriptures do these people find the hardest to understand? Ernest Eby, from State College Pennsylvania, shares his experience helping others understand the Bible.
"If people can tell that you care, they are going to be more open to Bible studies and they are going to be more likely to become part of the church. If people sense that you view them as a project, and all you want to do is convert them, they will quickly lose interest."

Published on
Wednesday, March 17th, 2021

Why are the early church beliefs important today? How can studying early church writings help to clarify scripture for us? In this episode, David Bercot shares the most important lessons that he has learned through studying church history. David encourages us to not view the early church writings as scripture, but as insight into how the authors understood scripture.

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