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.
But how is the book I am writing unique from the plethora of books already published on this topic of Christian peacemaking? First, I know of no book in existence that gives a solid overview of the historical and biblical support for Jesus’ approach to peacemaking that also dispels common misconceptions and unpacks core principles…let alone a book that does this in an engaging and entertaining way that is accessible to a general Christian readership. My hope is to write such a book.
Additionally, virtually every book about Jesus’ approach to peacemaking is written from a defensive posture. These books are attempts to answer the objections and critiques of those who dismiss what is generally termed Christian pacifism or nonviolence. Though such books are certainly needed, it is important to recognize that even at their best, the very nature of these books means that their critics are the ones determining the content of the book. They identify the issues the author must defend. They steer the direction of the book.
Instead of taking on a defensive posture, the content of my book is being guided by this simple question: How can I best enable Christians to understand and practice Jesus’ approach to peacemaking? And though I am attempting to write this book for a general Christian readership, I particularly have in mind those people who are laboring on Christ’s behalf amongst the poor, marginalized and oppressed of our world. If the content is not relevant and helpful for them as they seek to spread God’s shalom in places where it is painfully absent, then I will have not succeeded.
So what do you think? Is there a need for such a book? What aspects of Jesus’ approach to peacemaking are you most interested in learning about? For those of you that have read other books on Christian pacifism/nonviolence, what are the subtopics and issues you have found to be lacking and desire to see addressed?