Holistic Witness of the Bible?

The Anabaptist Renewal Circles is committed  “To rejoice in the holistic (full, complete, general, universal, whole) witness of Scripture” The Old Fool wishes he knew what the circles mean by “holistic” and “witness.”  What is it about the holistic witness of Scriptures that gives the Circles a cause to rejoice?

guruOur family’s “Uncle Paul” was fearless when searching. He experimented with meditation, went to India to meet a guru, and traveled into the Himalayas to visit monks. In his old age his faith in the gospel was renewed through the writings of N. T. Wright. When Wright published “The Kingdom New Testament” I down loaded it to my Kindle and I turn to it now for insight.

In the preface Wright wrote that the first work of the Holy Spirit was translation. Most of the time Jesus spoke Aramaic, an updated dialect of Hebrew, but the gospels were written in Greek. It took fifteen hundred years for the whole Bible to appear in English, a language that is now more fluid than ever. Wright believes every generation should have its own translation and urges a student to have at least three open translations to provide for easy comparisons.

Rachel-Held-EvansWill the Circles revert to a “flat” Bible, with every scripture acted on without evaluation? Not likely! I have on my Kindle “Faith Unraveled” by Rachel Held Evans. When she was an adolescent she had a quick, short answer to every question.  Now in mid-life her faith has evolved so that she is learning to ask the right questions. When I went to Rachel’s blog I discovered a video of a Southern Baptist Minister explaining to his congregation why he had changed his view of homosexuality.

This Baptist minister takes Jesus seriously, takes the Bible seriously, and listens carefully to broken, believing gays and lesbians, and accepts the cross that may be imposed on him by a dismissal by his congregation.


Pastor Danny Cortez

However, I have just discovered that his Southern Baptist congregation voted to affirm his position as their pastor.  This is not only a crisis moment for Mennonites, but for Southern Baptists, also. I’m sure Renewal Circles is aware of this development.  Click here to read of this development among Southern Baptists.

In the first ten days of June a few more than 573 persons have spent from 15 to 30 minutes on www.oldmennofools.com, 995 persons have spent 30 minutes to one hour, and 251 persons have spent more than one hour. That shows that in 10 days over 1500 persons  have spent 15 minutes to over 1 hour on the website. I don’t know who these people are, but I hope some Anabaptist Renewal Circles members are among them.

Surveys are sometimes used to learn the direction that the wind is blowing. Seeing  the movement  of the Wind is a significant part of spiritual discernment. May our eyes be open to see so that we do not resist, quench, grieve, or sin against the Spirit.

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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2 Responses to Holistic Witness of the Bible?

  1. Freda Zehr says:

    A question, Martin, perhaps I missed an explanation you gave of it in another post, but I was wondering exactly what is the Anabaptist renewal circles? i mean is it a new church broken off from regular mennonites? Or conjoined group of different churches?
    Thanks for all your good work, Freda Z

  2. It is an ad hoc group of Mennonite Church Leaders who are seeking spiritual renewal among Mennonites. My concern is that the composition and format seems to show a bias for one side in the debate. So I am asking questions. You should find their website by using this link :http://anabaptistrenewal.org/about/

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