Ted Grimsrud

ARTICLES

These are short articles I have published over the years, listed by date.

1983–October 11: “Lord of the church & Lord of history: Revelation 1.” Gospel Herald.

1983–October 18: “Jesus’ call to faithfulness: Revelation 2 and 3.” Gospel Herald.

1983–October 25: “Jesus Christ, the hope of the world: Revelation 4 and 5.” Gospel Herald.

1983–November 1: “The sealing of God’s servants: Revelation 6 and 7.” Gospel Herald.

1983–November 8: “Antichrist, then and now: Revelation 13 and 14.” Gospel Herald.

1983–November 15: “A tale of two cities (I): Revelation 18 and 19.” Gospel Herald.

1983–November 22: “A tale of two cities (II): Revelation 21 and 22.” Gospel Herald.

1987–November/December: “Learning from World War II conscientious objectors.” MCC Peace Section Newsletter.

1989–April 11: “Resisters, transformers, separatists, servants: Conscientious objectors in World War II.” Gospel Herald.

1989–April 25: “What did they accomplish? Conscientious objectors in World War II.” Gospel Herald.

1992–January 21: “How should 20th-century Christians read the book of Revelation?” Gospel Herald. [Presenting the case for a pacifist reading of Revelation as alternative to the future-prophetic approach.]

1992–October 27: “How do we take up our cross and suffer?” Gospel Herald. [Reflecting on the place of suffering in the life of discipleship.]

1993–October 5: “Mourning is about relinquishing a quest for control.” Gospel Herald.

1994–February 1: “However we receive it, pacifism is a gift from God.” Gospel Herald. [Considers the ambiguous legacy of Mennonite pacifism, suggesting that we best see pacifism as a gift, not an obligation.]

1994–March 29: “What happened 2000 years ago is still working.” Gospel Herald.

1995–April 4, 1995: “The way Jesus died is an example of the way Jesus lived.” Gospel Herald. [A meditation on how the story of Jesus’ death actually affirms life and provides a model for resisting the powers-that be.]

1995–May 23: “No other foundation can anyone lay than is laid: Jesus Christ.” Gospel Herald. [Reflections on the Mennonite confession of faith’s article on Jesus Christ.  Proposes a narrative rather than doctrine-centered Christology.]

1995–June 13: “Not a ‘good war’.” The Mennonite. [Reflections on why World War II should not be celebrated.]

1996–April 23: “Making the penultimate too important often leads to violence.” Gospel Herald. [Uses King Solomon’s story as a warning about making institutions too important.]

1997–July 1: “Who are my mother and my brothers?” The Mennonite. [Jesus argued against making family and ethnic ties more central to status in the faith community than faithfulness to his teaching.]

1998—March 3: “A faithful teacher in the church.” The Mennonite. [A personal tribute to John Howard Yoder, published shortly after his death, that emphasizes the importance of Yoder’s work for all Christians.]

1998–December 22: “Jesus and Herod: Two Kinds of King.” The Mennonite. [In reflecting on the fundamental differences between these two kinds of kings, we gain insights into Christian discipleship.]

2001–January 16: “Victory over the powers of death and evil: The book of Revelation.” The Mennonite. [A contribution to a series of articles by various authors on “difficult texts of the Bible;” focuses on Revelation as a positive resource for Christian peacemakers.]

2001—March: “A Pacifist Way of Knowing: Postmodern Sensibilities and Peace Theology.” Mennonite Life. [An essay that originated as a paper presented at a Bluffton University conference on Anabaptist faith and postmodernity. Argues for a pacifism that emerges as an alternative to many assumptions of modernity.]

2001—May: “Is ‘Academic Freedom’ a Mennonite Value?” Anabaptist Scholars Network Newsletter. [A “discussion starter” that grounds free inquiry for Anabaptist scholars in the biblical call to seek truth in the context of faith communities more than in Enlightenment values of individual freedom.]

2001–October 2: “Grief and critique: A prophetic approach to the acts of terrorism.” The Mennonite. [An American pacifist’s response to 9/11/2001 written a few days afterwards.]

2002–August 6: “The end of the world: why we are here.” The Mennonite. [“Eschatology,” the study of the end, should focus on the purpose of life more than the outcome of life–and the purpose is embodying the way of Jesus.]

2004—January 6: “Why Mennonite?” The Mennonite. [Identifying and reflecting on core Mennonite convictions.]

2004–October 5: “Anabaptist Faith and American Democracy.” The Mennonite. [As pacifists and as Americans we have a responsibility to help bring healing to the world–but to do so only in ways that are consistent with our pacifist convictions.]

2005–September 6: “Mercy not retribution: Salvation of and in the Old Testament.” The Mennonite. [Shows how the Old Testament is best read as the source for Jesus’ message of peace.]

2006–May 2: “The Anabaptist faith: a living tradition.” The Mennonite. [Argues that the traumas of the 16th-century Anabaptists both help us understand problematic dynamics of present Mennonite communities and point toward key ideals that remain vital.]

2007—May 21 – August 13: Reflections on the Sunday School lessons. Mennonite Weekly Review [A series of short Bible studies focusing on the Old Testament prophets.]

2007–May 21: “Let Justice Roll.” Mennonite Weekly Review. [The first in a series of short Bible studies drawing on various Old Testament prophets.  Amos speaks critical words in face of Israel’s injustice.]

2007–May 28: “Loss of Loyalty.” Mennonite Weekly Review. [The second in a series of short Bible studies on Old Testament prophets.  Hosea sharply challenges Israel’s blindness to its injustice and idolatry.]

2007–June 4: “Call to Faithfulness.” Mennonite Weekly Review. [The third in a series of short Bible studies on Old Testament prophets.  Isaiah works with King Hezekiah, but also speaks Yahweh’s words of critique and call for justice.]

2007–June 11: “Healing Will Come.” Mennonite Weekly Review. [The fourth in a series.  Isaiah, Amos, and Hosea all end with promises of healing.  Isaiah 40–55 is an especially powerful collection of hopeful visions.]

2007–June 18: “What God Wants.” Mennonite Weekly Review. [The fifth in a series. Micah speaks truth to power (with success) and expresses God’s core intention for humanity.]

2007–June 19: “The legacy of CPS: Why Civilian Public Service is important.” The Mennonite. [Looking back at the witness to peace in the midst of World War II that, while seemingly insignificant at the time, grows in significance as the years pass and the world fails to overcome its warring madness.]

2007–June 25: “Heeding a Prophet.” Mennonite Weekly Review. [The sixth in a series. The book of the prophet Zephaniah, while less known than most of the others, reiterates the basic critique of unjust Israel–with a sense that prophetic words can make a difference.]

2007–July 2: “End of Tyranny.” Mennonite Weekly Review. [The seventh in a series.  Habakkuk prophesies against both Judah and Babylon–calling for faithfulness in the face of widespread disruption and injustice.]

2007–July 9: “A Nation Doomed.” Mennonite Weekly Review. [The eighth in a series.  Jeremiah helps the Hebrews understand that their doom in face of the conquering Babylonians is not a sign of God’s absence but actually the consequence of their being held accountable for their injustices.]

2007–July 16: “Faithfulness in Exile.” Mennonite Weekly Review. [The ninth in a series.  After the destruction of Judah, Jeremiah offers words of hope, especially in his call for the people to seek the peace of the city where they find themselves in exile.]

2007–July 23: “Grief that Heals.” Mennonite Weekly Review. [The tenth in a series. Lamentations gives voice to grief at the destruction of Judah, but even more so affirms that God’s mercy outlasts God’s wrath.]

2007–July 30: “Turn and Live.” Mennonite Weekly Review. [The eleventh in a series.  Ezekiel echoes Jeremiah’s message of critique and hope for healing.  Turn to God and find healing or remain in thrall to injustice and power politics and remain broken.]

2007–August 6: “Prophetic Relevance.” Mennonite Weekly Review. [The twelfth in a series. Zechariah speaks to post-exilic Israelites words to remind them that their hope rests only on the faithfulness of God. They are called to let Torah shape their lives.]

2007–August 13: “Malachi’s Last Word.” Mennonite Weekly Review. [The thirteenth and final article in a series. Malachi brings the Old Testament to a conclusion with a reminder of the basic concerns of the prophets.  He pushes the prophetic message out into the future.]

2008–September 2: “How does Revelation speak today? Revelation is about Jesus, not vengeance.” The Mennonite. [An introduction to the theology of the book of Revelation arguing that the central message of this book is a call to persevering love in the face of the world’s brokenness and evil.]

2009—May 25 – August 17: Reflections on the Sunday School lessons. Mennonite Weekly Review [A series of short Bible studies focusing on the Old Testament books of the Law.]

2009–May 25: “Word of Blessing.” Mennonite Weekly Review. [The first in a series. Reflections on the first several books of the Bible. The story of the exodus begins with God hearing the cries of the enslaved people and joining their struggle for liberation.]

2009–June 1: “God’s Way of Power.” Mennonite Weekly Review. [The second in a series. Considers the contrast between the way power is practiced in the Egyptian Empire and in the new community of faith God establishes led by Moses.]

2009–June 8: “God Liberates.” Mennonite Weekly Review. [The third in a series. Looks at the story of God’s work to bring the Hebrews out of slavery in Exodus 5—reflecting on the social implications of how God does this.]

2009–June 15: “The Bible’s Great Salvation Story.” Mennonite Weekly Review.  [The fourth in a series. Reflections on the story of the exodus as told in Exodus 14 and how we best apply it today.]

2009–June 22: “Gifts, Expectations.” Mennonite Weekly Review. [The fifth in a series. Following the exodus, God provides the Hebrews with directions on how to live as liberated people–here we look at the version of the Ten Commandments in Deuteronomy.]

2009–June 29: “Reliving Liberation.” Mennonite Weekly Review. [The sixth in a series. From early on, Torah calls for rituals that will encourage the Hebrews to keep the salvation of God alive in their present consciousness—so that they may continue to practice liberation.]

2009–July 6: “Prophetic Priests.” Mennonite Weekly Review. [The seventh in a series. Torah calls for leadership among the Hebrews that will challenge the people to embody the justice of God.]

2009–July 13: “Healthy Lives.” Mennonite Weekly Review. [The eighth in a series. A crucial part of the legislation shaping Israel’s social life was the “Jubilee” laws that sought to protect the vulnerable and prevent Israel from evolving into a society with a few wealthy and many poor.]

2009–July 20: “Growing Pains.” Mennonite Weekly Review. [The ninth in a series. We read here of Moses’ struggle with “rabble” in his community who “murmur” against God—and of God’s relentlessness in pushing the people toward maturity.]

2009—July 27: “They Weren’t Ready.” Mennonite Weekly Review. [The tenth in a series. Reflections on the fearfulness of most of the Hebrew scouts who visited the promised land prior to the community entering it.]

2009—August 3: “Leaders’ Limitations.” Mennonite Weekly Review [The eleventh in a series. Even Moses, the great prophet and leader, had feet of clay—failing at his work to the extent that he was forbidden to enter the promised land.]

2009—August 10: “Faith That Will Last.” Mennonite Weekly Review [The twelfth in a series. Moses’ final exhortation to the people before they enter the promised land centers on two points: love God and pass on this love to your children.]

2009—August 17: “God’s Costly Mercy.” Mennonite Weekly Review [The thirteenth in a series. The concluding word to the Hebrews predicts their unfaithfulness but even more assures them of God’s mercy.]

2009—October 20: “Healing Justice.” The Mennonite [A critique of retributive justice practices, a theological analysis, and suggestions for an alternative—restorative justice—that better reflects biblical justice.]

2010—August 23 – November 15: Reflections on the Sunday School lessonsMennonite Weekly Review [A series of short Bible studies focusing on the Old Testament God as presented in Exodus and the Psalms.]

2010—September – August 2012: “Pursue Peace.” Purpose [A series of 24 meditations on peacemaking dealing with various issues with an emphasis on personal application.]

2010—December: “Why we pay attention to Jesus.” The Mennonite [Our culture’s sense of what Jesus is about actually, in many ways, can help us understand why we should pay attention to Jesus.]

2012—February 20 – May 14: The Gospel of John in brief. Mennonite World Review [A series of short Bible studies focusing on the Gospel of John.]

2012—July: “Who can stand against it? The ‘good’ war and the Beast of Revelation.” The Mennonite [The Book of Revelation provides a helpful perspective for thinking about resisting the war spirit that World War II empowered in the United States.]

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