Item description for Must Christianity Be Violent?: Reflections on History, Practice, and Theology by Kenneth R. Chase & Alan Jacobs...
In these turbulent times, many have linked Christianity to violence, arguing that Christian doctrines inevitably lead to bloodshed, conquest, and war. Must Christianity Be Violent? provides specific responses to these accusations. The essays, by contributors including Mark Noll, Richard Mouw, and Stanley Hauerwas, explore the history of Christian violence and advocate the need for an uncompromised Biblical theology in our search for peace. This timely collection will appeal to readers of Christian history, ethics, and theology, and those who want to better understand a specifically Christian response to violence and how to cultivate Christian peace.
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Excellent Discussions of Christians and Violence Feb 6, 2004
This timely and helpful work is the result of a conference at Wheaton College (Illinois) in 2000. The goal was to investigate and apply the Christian ethic of peace and how it has been compromised by believers over the centuries. The triadic focus of the book allows the reader to consider historically both Christian complicity and prophetic action regarding the First Crusade (Joseph Lynch), the conquest of the Americas (Luis Rivera-Pagan), American slavery (Dan McKanan), the Holocaust (David Gushee), and whether Christians have done more harm than good (Mark Noll).
Christian practices are also considered, such as teaching American history from a perspective of constructive nonviolence (James Juhnke) and the emerging Just Peacemaking Theory that seeks to bring just war theorists and pacifists together to engage in concrete peace building practices that can prevent wars (Glen Stassen). Stassen continues to improve the approach with both biblical scholarship (from NT Wright, EP Sanders, JD Crossan, etc.) and practical implementations.
Richard Mouw, Stanley Hauerwas, and John Milbank provide the theological wrestlings that conclude the book. Mouw presents a Reformed perspective of the atonement and defends it against the claims that the atonement inherently promotes violence. Hauerwas' "Explaining Christian Nonviolence" admirably explains why nonviolence cannot be explained. It is not an ideal that can be abstracted from Christology, ecclesiology, eschatology, the Christian life, and discipleship. It can be lived, it is a skill. Milbank answers with a chapter on the double passivity of violence: the passive watching of violence is itself violent. The transcript of their public conversation about Christian Peace, with questions from the audience, is also included.