Kingdom Citizens in a World of Conflict

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18

January 24-26, 2013
Phoenix, Arizona

Sponsored by the U.S. Board of Faith and Life

In January 2013, BFL sponsored Kingdom Citizens in a World of Conflict, a USMB Study Conference held in Phoenix, Ariz. The purpose of this study conference was to study and understand the biblical text and historical context that inform Articles 12 and 13 of the USMB Confession of Faith.

Note: Most of this content is taken from the printed material and therefore is written in the present tense.

Purposes of the Study Conference

  1. To study and understand the biblical texts and the historical context which inform Articles 12 and 13 of the MB Confession of Faith;
  2. To more fully understand the complexities of the application of these Articles in a USA/current world context, including a review of various Christian views about these issues;
  3. To engage in a process in which the goal is to review the Articles and pursue a greater sense of unity and commitment to the biblical teaching about them;
  4. To understand “evangelical” and “Anabaptist” perspectives on these Articles, with the goal of embracing the best of both;
  5. To create an atmosphere of trust and safety for exploring what we believe Jesus is saying to us on these important matters; and
  6. To challenge each other to retain and expand our identity as a church that emphasizes reconciliation and peacemaking as an integral part of faithfully following Jesus.


Ed Boschman is the USMB executive director. He has invested his life in serving the church in a variety of ministry and leadership roles. Ed and his wife, Carol, attend The Bridge Bible Church, a Mennonite Brethren congregation in Bakersfield, Calif

Leith Anderson is president of the National Association of Evangelicals, based in Washington, DC. Leith is also Pastor Emeritus of Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, Minn., a large congregation that he served as senior pastor from 1977-2011.

Terry Brensinger is professor of Pastoral Ministry at Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary in Fresno, Calif. Before coming to FPBS in 2011, he taught at Messiah College in Grantham, Penn., pastored churches in Kentucky, New York City and Pennsylvania, and most recently served as the international pastor/teacher for the International Brethren in Christ Association. Terry received his BA from Messiah College, M.Div. from Asbury Theological Seminary, MA in Near Eastern Archaeology from Drew University, and his M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Old Testament Studies, also from Drew.

Roger Poppen has served in pastoral ministry for over 43 years, including 23 years in various Baptist churches and 20 years as lead pastor of Laurelglen Bible Church, a Mennonite Brethren congregation in Bakersfield, Calif. Roger currently serves as pastor of Care Ministries at Shafter MB Church, Shafter, Calif. Roger is well known for his expository preaching and teaching of God’s Word.

Del Gray is assistant professor of Biblical and Religious Studies at Tabor College, Hillsboro, Kan. His goal is to develop students who have thought deeply about their faith and are able to hold it and express it in a way that is both academically credible and culturally relevant. He earned his BA in Biblical and Theological Studies from Bethel College in 1989, his MA in New Testament Studies from Trinity International University in 1992, and his Ph.D. in New Testament from Fuller Theological Seminary in 2005. Del is a member of and in leadership at Parkview MB Church, Hillsboro, Kan.

Tim Geddert is professor of New Testament at Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary, Fresno, Calif. He is also an adjunct instructor at Bienenberg Biblical Seminary (Switzerland) and a member of the USMB Board of Faith and Life. Tim earned his BA from the University of Saskatchewan, his M.Div. from Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary, and his Ph.D. from Aberdeen University. Tim is a member of College Community Church MB, Clovis, Calif.

Larry Nikkel is a former healthcare executive and President Emeritus of Tabor College. For the last four years he has chaired the USMB Board of Faith and Life. Larry is a member and serves on the Leadership Board of First MB Church in Wichita, Kan.

Valerie Rempel (discussion facilitator) is associate professor, J.B. Toews Chair of History and Theology at Fresno Pacific University Biblical Seminary. She is also director of the new Center for Anabaptist Studies at Fresno Pacific University. She earned her BA from Tabor College, an MA from Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary, an MA from Vanderbilt University and her Ph.D. also from Vanderbilt. Valerie is a member of and serves on leadership at the College Community Church MB, Clovis, Calif.


Thursday, January 24
1:30pm    Opening Session: Ed Boschman
3:00pm    Presentation #1: Leith Anderson - Article 12: New Testament and Early Christian Considerations
4:00pm    Conversation / Bible Study
6:30pm    Presentation #2: Terry Brensinger - Article 12: Contemporary Applications
7:30pm    Conversation / Bible Study

Friday, January 25
9:00am    Presentation #3: Roger Poppen - Article 13: A Case for Legitimate Protective Violence
10:30am  Conversation / Bible Study
1:30pm    Presentation #4: Del Gray - Article 13: A Case for Non-Violence
2:30pm    Conversation / Bible Study
3:45pm    Presentation #5: Tim Geddert - Article 13: Radical Peace-Making: Living With Our Diversity
4:45pm    Conversation / Bible Study
7:00pm    Conversation – guided processing of issues

Saturday, January 26
8:30am     Presentation #6: Ed Boschman, Larry Nikkel, Listening Committee
9:30am     Conversation – Topic: Dealing with our Diversity
10:30am   Closing session
12:00pm   Dismissal


Crowne Plaza Hotel Phoenix Airport 4300 E Washington St.
Phoenix AZ 85034

Special conference room rate: $99 (plus tax)


Registration Fee: Early registration $100.00 per person ($135.00 after December 15, 2012) Fee includes event and all meals.

Supporting Documents

Article 13 comparison process

Revised Article 13

The Papers

Article 12 and 13 Reading List

Conscientious Objector Summary Links

March 2013 Open Letter

June 2013 Open Letter

Nov. 2013 Open Letter

Peacemaking Guide

Study Conference Brochure


Find a Church