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Spring 1990 · Vol. 19 No. 1 · pp. 119–27 

Current Research

Elmer A. Martens



Beaman, Jay. Pentecostal Pacifism. Hillsboro: Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies, 1989. [TC]

Geddert, Timothy. Watchwords: Mark 13 in Markan Eschatology. JSNT Supplement Series, #26. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1989. [MBBS]

Giesbrecht, Herb, Cornelius P. Toews, et al. The Kuban Settlement. Translated by Herbert Giesbrecht. (Echo Historical Series, No. 9). Winnipeg: CMBC Publications, 1989. [MBBC]

Hiebert, D. Edmond. Second Peter and Jude, An Expositional Commentary. Greenville, SC: Unusual Publications 29614 (paper), 1989. [MBBS]

Kasdorf, Hans. Die Umkehr. Bekehrung in ihren theologischen and kulturellen Zusammenhangen. Bielefeld: LOGOS, 1989, 234 pages. [MBBS]

Wiebe, Katie Funk. Alone Through Widowhood and Beyond: A Search for Joy. London, England: Hodder and Stoughton, 1989. [TC]

———. Bless Me Too, My Father. Bookshort: six chapters. Christian Digest. November/December 1989. [TC]


Dueck, Abe. “Mennonite Churches and Religious Developments in Russia 1850-1914;” in Mennonite in Russia: Essays in Honour of Gerhard Lohrenz. John Friesen, (Ed.) Winnipeg: CMBC Publications, 1989. [MBBC]

Dueck, Al. “Ethical Contexts of Healing: Peoplehood and Righteousness; Ethical Contexts of Healing: Ecclesia and Praxis; Ethical Contexts of Healing: Character and Ritual;” in The Best in Theology, J.I. Packer, (Ed.). Vol. III, Illinois: CTI, 1989, 249-289. [MBBS] {120}

———. “Story, Community and Ritual: Anabaptist Themes and Mental Health,” Mennonite Quarterly Review, 1989, 63, 77-91. [MBBS]

Geddert, Tim. “We Prayed for Healing-But She Died (What Does the Bible Teach About Physical Healing?),” in Wonders and the Word, J. R. Coggins and P. G. Hiebert, (Eds.). Winnipeg/Hillsboro: Kindred Press, 1989, 85-91. [MBBS]

———. “The Ministry of Women: A Proposal for Mennonite Brethren," Direction 18 (Fall, 1989), No. 2, 54-71. [MBBS]

Hiebert, D. Edmond. (In 1989, 4 parts of a 10-part series on 1 John were published in Bibliotheca Sacra.)
“Exposition of 1 John 2:18-28;” (part 4) Jan-March, 76-93.
“Exposition of 1 John 2:29-3:12;” (part 5) April-June, 198-216.
“Exposition of 1 John 3:13-24;” (part 6) July-Sept., 301-319.
“Exposition of 1 John 4:1-6;” (Part 7) Oct.-Dec., 420-426. [MBBS]

Johnson, Arlee. “Books I Recommend: Reading for Preachers," Direction 18 (Fall, 1989) No. 2, 106-107. [MBBS]

Kasdorf, Hans. “Mennonite Brethren Missiologist George W. Peters (1907-1988),” International Bulletin of Missionary Research 13, No. 2 (July 1989): 124-125. [MBBS]

Keidel, Levi. “The Role of Emotion in Christian Faith,” Wonders and the Word. J. R. Coggins and P. G. Hiebert, (Eds.). Winnipeg/Hillsboro: Kindred Press, 1989, 48-52. [CBC]

Kyle, Richard. “The Major Concepts in John Knox’s Baptismal Thought;” Fides et Historia 21, no. 1, (1989): 20-31. [TC]

———. “Nestorius: The Partial Rehabilitation of a Heretic,” The Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 32, no. 1 (1989):73-83. [TC]

———. “The Church," in Encyclopedia USA, Vol. 11. Archie P. McDonald, Ed. Gulf Breeze, FL: Academic International Press, 1989, 108-113. [TC]

———. “Church of Christ, Scientists," in Encyclopedia USA, Vol. 11. Archie P. McDonald, Ed. Gulf Breeze, FL: Academic International Press, 1989, 92-96. [TC] {121}

———. “Christadelphians,” in Encyclopedia USA, Vol. 11. Archie P. McDonald, Ed. Gulf Breeze, FL: Academic International Press, 1989, 72-74. [TC]

Loewen, Howard J. “Rethinking Christian Ethics: From Moral Decision to Character Formation,” Direction 18, 1 (Spring, 1989) 55-66. [MBBS]

Martens, Elmer A. “Commentary on Jeremiah and Lamentations,” in Evangelical Commentary on the Bible. Walter A. Elwell (Ed.). Grand Rapids: Baker, 1989, 515-558. [MBBS]

Pruitt, D. G., N. B. McGillicuddy, G. L. Welton**, and W. R. Fry. “The Process of Mediation in Dispute Settlement Centers,” in Mediation Research: The Process and Effectiveness of Third-Party Intervention, K. Kressel & D. G. Pruitt (Eds.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1989. [TC]

Pruitt, D. G., G. L. Welton**, W. R. Fry, N. B. McGillicuddy, L. Castrianno, J. M. Zubek, and C. A. Ippolito. “The Process of Mediation: Caucusing, Control, and Problem Solving,” in Managing Conflict: An Interdisciplinary Approach, M. A. Rahim (Ed.). New York: Praeger, 1989. Reprinted in Arbitration, 54, 245-249. [TC]

Schmidt, John. “New Wine From the Vineyard,” Wonders and the Word. J. R. Coggins and P. G. Hiebert, (Eds.). Winnipeg/Hillsboro: Kindred Press, 1989, 69-84. [CBC]

Terman, M. R.**, V. B. Bailey, and R. W. Wall**. “Noteworthy Longevity,” in Crotalus viridus viridus. Trans. Kansas Acad. Science, 92:1989): 1-2. [TC]

Toews, John E. “The Nature of the Church;” Direction, 18 (Fall, 1989), 3-26. [MBBS]

Vooys, John. “Church Renewal for the 1980’s?” Wonders and the Word. J. R. Coggins and P. G. Hiebert, (Eds.). Winnipeg/Hillsboro: Kindred Press, 1989, 65-68. [CBC]

Wiebe, Katie Funk. “A Real Live Death,” in Liars and Rascals: Mennonite Short Stories. Waterloo, ON: University of Waterloo Press, 1989. [TC]

———. “A Real Live Death;” in Breaking Through: A Canadian Literary Mosaic, Grade 11 and 12 anthology. Scarborough, ON: Prentice-Hall Canada, 1989. [TC] {122}

Zenger, Weldon F. and Sharon K. Zenger**. “The Kansas Internship Program: What Are Some of the Concerns?” Record, Kansas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 7, (1989): 3-10. [TC]


Shillington, George. Commentary on 1 John in Adult Quarterly. (September-November) Winnipeg: Mennonite Brethren Board of Christian Education, 1989. [MBBC]

Toews, John E. “Jesus Christ the Convenor of the Church," Showalter Memorial Address. Newton, KS: General Conference Mennonite Church; Elkhart, IN: Mennonite Church, 1989. [MBBS]

* The listing incorporates publication of books and referenced periodicals. It is limited to the faculty of schools sponsoring Direction; these are identified by school as follows: Tabor College (TC), Fresno Pacific College (FPC), Columbia Bible College (CBC), Mennonite Brethren Bible College (MBBC), Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary (MBBS).

** In multiple authorship the author in question is double starred.


Penner, Ron. Participation in Church Covenant Groups: A Study in Two Churches, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, (Ed.D., 1990). Advisor: Dr. Ted Ward.

The research goal was to explore the factors and processes adults identify as influencing their participation in a local church Covenant group. Another way of phrasing the research question was, “Why do some people participate in local church Covenant groups and others not?” The relationship between participation and the following variables was also {123} explored: the church’s support for groups, persons’ church involvement, the need for childcare, sociability, previous group experience, the presence and locus of an existing affiliative network, and cultural values. The research methodology selected was ethnographic. In the first research phase, three Covenant group experts were interviewed. In the second phase, forty subjects from two churches were interviewed by telephone.

The major factors related to the participation decision were: a felt need, time and priorities, presentation of opportunity, fears, critical incidents, and a spouse’s decision. The primary felt need was for friendship and support, secondarily for learning from the Bible. Lack of time and other priorities were factors identified by 55 percent of the nonparticipants. The presentation of an opportunity for group participation, especially when coming in the form of a personal invitation was a particularly significant factor. The chief fears linked with small group participation were: a fear of possible rejection, a fear of embarrassment resulting from lack of competence in group activities, and a fear of being trapped. Critical incidents such as birth of a special-needs child or a divorce tended to lead to nonparticipation. In all cases where a spouse chose not to participate, the other partner also opted for nonparticipation.

The following items had little or no relationship to participation: the level of church support for Covenant groups, persons’ involvement in the church aside from Sunday morning services, the need for childcare, sociability, previous small group experience, the presence of affiliative network, or cultural values. Nonparticipants and participants were virtually equally involved in the church’s programs and ministries. Childcare seemed to be an issue when income was lower. The results from the FIRO-B inventory indicated no differences between the sociability of participants and nonparticipants. Previous small group experience, even of a negative nature seemed unrelated to present participation. Persons without existing affiliative networks such as an extended family seemed no more or less likely to be in groups. Cultural values did not surface as significant in participation.

A decision-making model is proposed with the phases: presentation of opportunity, processing of factors related to the decision, an initial decision, testing of the group experience {124} for relevance and quality, and a decision regarding continuation in the group.

Two findings were of particular interest: 1) Covenant groups are not only for those who are more outgoing and sociable; 2) the power of a personal invitation in the decision to participate. At the same time, both participants and nonparticipants urged caution in expecting everyone to be a group participant. Because similar needs are met in other ministry settings, or persons have conflicts in schedules, or a limited time available, churches are urged not to link group participation with spiritual maturity or vitality.

Ron Penner is Assistant Professor of Christian Education and Youth Ministries and Dean of Students at Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary, Fresno, California.

Adrian, Marlin. Mennonites, Missionaries, and Native Americans: Religious Paradigms and Cultural Encounters, University of Virginia. (Doctor of Philosophy in Religious Studies, 1989). Chief Mentor: Benjamin Ray; Dissertation Advisor: John Corrigan.

This dissertation examines the missionary efforts of American Mennonites among Native Americans in the years between 1876 and 1916. It attempts to provide a descriptive and interpretive analysis of the cultural and historical development of Mennonites in America as revealed immediately prior to and during their encounter with Native Americans on the mission field. It covers the beginning period of General Conference Mennonite mission work among the Arapaho and Cheyenne in Indian Territory and the Hopi in Arizona. It briefly touches on the mission among the Northern Cheyenne in Montana. A portion of this work explores the labor of Heinrich Kohfeld among the Comanche in Indian Territory for the Mennonite Brethren Churches.

The author devotes special attention to the role of religious paradigms in the motivation of Mennonite missions and missionaries. He concludes that support among Mennonites for mission work grows out of a strong commitment to the root paradigms of Mennonite spirituality, the “martyr” and the “pilgrim.” In the American environment, where martyrdom and forced displacement were not commonplace, the missionary {125} became the “martyr” and the “pilgrim” for the greater body of Mennonites. The author also discusses the, role of Mennonite missionaries as collaborators with the government of the United States and as adversaries of Native American religions. He suggests that many of the frustrations Mennonite missionaries experienced while working among Native Americans grew out of the fact that these roles brought them into direct conflict with the root paradigms of the “martyr” and the “pilgrim.”

Marlin Adrian resides in Newton, Kansas.

Doerksen, Ben. Mennonite Brethren Missions: Historical Development, Philosophy, and Policies, Fuller Theological Seminary (School of World Mission). (Doctor of Missiology, 1986). Mentor: Paul G. Hiebert.

The dissertation maintains that the Mennonite Brethren mission enterprise, now fielding missionaries in some 23 countries on six continents, developed rather haphazardly, often more by default than by design.

The historical developments that contributed to the birth of the Mennonite Brethren Church in Russia in 1860 are traced. Then the contextual factors that influenced the development of the mission program are examined.

Although the Mennonite Brethren Church was cradled in an atmosphere of mission, it formulated no specific mission strategy until after World War II. Individuals patterned their programs after existing colonial models and enjoyed considerable freedom in pioneering new fields.

In order to develop greater missionary accountability, the Mennonite Brethren Conference adopted a constitution in 1936 granting the Board of Missions “full control over all foreign mission work.” Twelve years later the newly appointed Executive Secretary visited the fields of India, Africa and Latin America. Needless to say, such moves threatened the hitherto independent missionaries and generated much ill-will.

The mission program was further tested by tensions that developed in Canada between immigrants coming prior to 1920 and those coming in the late 1920’s. The Russlaender, the latter group, felt discriminated against by the earlier Ranadier and organized their own “Afrika Missions Verein.” After {126}fielding several missionaries of their own and widening the rift between the two groups, the sponsors of the Canadian Board welcomed the offer of acceptance of their Congo field by the Hillsboro Board in 1943.

Today the Mennonite Brethren mission enterprise is centrally controlled and expands only after careful strategizing by the Board. Current strategy focuses on internationalization to enhance future developments.

The dissertation also examines the development of the Mennonite Brethren mission enterprise in the light of contemporary missiological theories: the homogeneous unit principle, holistic mission, para-church structures, indigenization and internationalization.

Ben Doerksen is Director of Missions at Bethany Bible Institute, Hepburn, Saskatchewan.

Friesen, Delores Histand. Sex Education in the Seminary Setting: Its Effect on Attitudes, Knowledge and Counseling Responses, University of Iowa, [Doctor of Philosophy in Education (Counseling and Human Development), 1988]. Advisor: Dr. Lauralee Rockwell.

The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effects of sex education in a seminary setting. Three major questions were addressed: 1) Does sex education affect the attitudes of seminary students? 2) Does sex education increase the knowledge of seminary students? and 3) Does sex education affect the counseling responses of seminary students?

The participants in this study were 52 seminary students in a Lutheran seminary in the Midwest. The experimental group consisted of 30 participants enrolled in a course in human sexuality. The control group consisted of 22 participants who volunteered to participate in the pretest and posttest sessions. Both groups completed the Sex Knowledge and Attitude Test (SKAT) and the Sexual Counseling Response Scale (SCRS), as a pretest and posttest. Instruction for the experimental group consisted of twelve hours of class, divided into four, three hour sessions, which met once each week for a period of four weeks. The control group received no treatment or instruction. In addition to the SKAT and SCRS instruments, counseling styles were assessed through a self-report measure, {127} and a course evaluation form was completed by the experimental group.

Because of the dearth of suitable research instruments, attention was given to the development of a new instrument, the Sexual Counseling Response Scale (SCRS), which could be useful both for instructional and research purposes. The Sexual Counseling Response Scale, which was developed for the purposes of this study, describes twenty-four counselee statements or situations with specific human sexuality content. These were drawn from the literature and personal reports from clergypersons known to the author. The ease with which these various situations were located was another indication of the significant number and type of human sexuality concerns with which an average clergyperson becomes involved during the course of daily work routines.

This study was intended to encourage seminary educators to include sex education within their curriculum, with particular attention to pastoral counseling preparation, and the need for additional research and documentation of teaching materials, techniques, and the results of instruction in human sexuality.

The results of the study indicated that the experimental group did not differ significantly from the control group in sexual attitudes, sexual knowledge, or counseling responses. Although there was some movement in the expected direction of increased knowledge, and increased recognition of sexual myths, the results were not statistically significant.

Delores Friesen is Assistant Professor of Pastoral Counseling at Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary, Fresno, California.

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