October 1974 · Vol. 3 No. 3 · pp. 258–59 

Reader Response

Werner Kroeker, H. R. Baerg, and Edwin Goossen

I wish to thank you very much for “From the Village, To the City” in Direction and to say how much I resounded to, fought with and pondered about the things in it. I found it clarifying and provocative. I saw myself in it; but, in a sense, in a unique way, being the product of late immigration. . ., I wish that there were someone who would be able to generalize this to include other ethnic groups as well.

Werner Kroeker
Santa Barbara, California

I kind of agree with Wally Kroeker. It seems that no one is writing anything current and specifically for Direction because no assignments are made. We will have to work at a meaningful journal, not just resort to the barrel or a chapter of someone’s dissertation.

H. R. Baerg
Winkler, Manitoba

DIRECTION IS NOT PONDEROUS NOR DULL. And you tricked me into writing! Ever since the first issue that came to my desk, I have meant to tell you by letter that this is a very good start for greater things. I suspect that the article by Wally Kroeker was solicited by you to jerk some of us lazy letter writers. Well, it worked!

This letter is a totally favorable response. It could just be that here also “Silence means consent!” But then, on the other hand, when I mention to another pastor something that I read in Direction, he does not know what I am talking about. We who read it enjoy it. There may not be many readers, but that is their problem, not the problem of the editors.

My opinion of M. B. pastors is that they are mentally lazy. If it is not “practical” or “existential”, they cannot be bothered with reading it (another good way of not learning much). Take a quick look at most M. B. pastors’ libraries, and one wonders what they do in their studies. Maybe the study really is an office these days. Their pulpit ministry does reflect their lack of helpful reading.

Concerning “The Bible and Mennonite Brethren” by Dr. Klassen, my reaction has been that Mennonites read the Bible as a story book, seeking out the human interest sections. What people do is interesting, but what God has done, is doing, and will do is boredom. I am waiting for the rest of that paper. Maybe he will say that M.B.’s today do not treat the Bible as the Fathers did. Yes, we need to be interested in people, but soon we can only talk about people, and events and ideas seldom become the subject of discussion. And when we do talk about people it cannot always be wholesome. It is {259} refreshing to read a magazine that deals with issues, events, truths, and concepts.

Our movement needs to be taught to think. Our pulpits must challenge us to think and our journals must help the preachers. Our thinking is deepened when we get even the wrong side of the discussion. Sometimes right looks brighter when the wrong is factually presented.

My suggestion: Direction needs to expand in size and frequency. There should be more writing on the issues we face, with pro and con presentations. My learning process was, learn the formula first and then see how it works. Theory before experimentation, theology before practice (cf. the Pauline method).

Edwin Goossen
Doland, South Dakota