Violence In The Old Testament is an ongoing series of reflections designed to help Christians make sense of Jesus’ teaching on peace and enemy love when juxtaposed with the images of an often violent and vengeful God found throughout the Old Testament. After all, violent Old Testament passages, such as those attributing genocidal acts to God, ought to be problematic not just for pacifists, but for every moral, Bible-believing Christian. […]
Over the sound of chatter, we suddenly heard the distinct ringing of a gong. We were so caught up in our discussion that we had completely lost track of time. The sound of someone hitting the gong reminded us that it was 9:00pm—the time we set aside each evening as a community to pray and reflect on the day. […]
In Matthew 8:5-13, we read the staggering account of a senior military officer in the Roman army requesting Jesus miraculously heal his beloved servant. In the middle of talking with this centurion, Jesus pauses and commends the man’s great faith.
Sometimes people use this passage as evidence that Jesus approved of military service. However, as I hope you will soon see, not only is this interpretation incorrect, but it entirely misses the point Jesus was attempting to make. When Jesus commended the centurion’s faith, He was actually teaching two lessons that are foundational to His peacemaking approach. […]
For 1700 years the early Church’s clear teaching on violence, kingdom allegiance, and extending love to enemies has been pushed aside and seldom heard. Let us now consider afresh what they have to say on these topics.
In today’s post, I want to simply allow the early Christians to speak for themselves. What follows is a list of forty early Church quotes on violence, enemy love and patriotism. In future posts, I will unpack many of these quotes and elaborate further on the early Christian attitude to violence and enemy love. But for today, let’s simply take time to read through this list and reflect on what they have to say. […]
In yesterday’s post, I revealed a profound, historical irony that occurs within the life of the Church every Veterans Day. If you haven’t already done so, you’ll want to read that post: The Untold Story of Veterans Day. Today’s reflection builds upon it.
This post is the second in a series of reflections that seek to familiarize you with the early Church’s teaching on the permissibility of Christians using violence. But before we start immersing ourselves in the direct teaching of the early Church, I want to list five reasons we would be wise to place significant weight on what they have to say: […]
There is a great irony that occurs every November 11th in the life of the Church. Nowadays most churches in the West have chosen on that day to commemorate Veterans Day. It is a day set-aside by many churches to honor those Christians who have bravely served in the military. However, historically throughout the centuries, the Church has paused on that very day for quite a different reason. Traditionally, November 11th has been set aside by the Church to reflect on the life of a Christian military deserter named Martin of Tours. […]
Once, after teaching a workshop on the early Christian attitude to war, a fellow urban missionary named Aaron White told me the story of his close friend who was a military soldier. One night Aaron’s friend confessed to him that he hated Mahatma Gandhi. He hated that Gandhi’s pacifist teaching and way of life made his own attempts to work for world peace look evil. […]
Here is a description of the primary focus of my book and how it is unique from the plethora of other books available on the topic of Christian peacemaking:
Love your enemies. Prior to when Jesus first uttered these revolutionary words, no religion or moral teaching had ever propounded such a way of life. For those of us committed to the way of Jesus, He has much to teach us about working for peace amongst the oppressed and marginalized of our world. Let’s allow Jesus to be our teacher, model and guide as we attempt to cultivate and spread God’s shalom in communities and localities where it is painfully absent. […]
I need your help choosing a title for the book I’m currently writing and hope to get published. To better inform your feedback, you might want to first read my post entitled “Book Description”. That post briefly describes the primary focus of the book and how it is unique from the plethora of other books available on the topic of Christian peacemaking.
Choosing A Great Title: When it comes to crafting an eye-catching, stellar title, Michael Hyatt suggests that great titles must either “make a promise, create intrigue, identify a need, or simply state the content.” The challenge is to create a title that succinctly gets at the heart of the book’s content and purpose. With this in mind I’ll simply list the potential titles that I’ve already brainstormed. Feel free to vote on your favorite title(s) and/or your least favorite ones. Alternatively, you may want to come up with a title suggestion of your own. […]