Item description for Hell's Abyss, Heaven's Grace: War and Christian Spirituality by Lawrence D. Hart...
Overview War, before it is ever manifested in physical, observable violence, and peace, before it is ever felt as harmony or seen in acts of kindness, are the inner realities of the human heart and mind. They are states of consciousness, conditions of the soul. . . . War is hell's abyss,' and peace is heaven's grace.' Moment by moment we choose which we will live into; indeed, which we will become. -from the Introduction In a stirring call to nonviolent resistance, Episcopal priest Larry Hart confronts the compromises Christians around the world have made with their nations' uses of violence. Comparing Just War theory with the United States' national history of war and exploitation, Hart voices the need for personal and social transformation to live in keeping with the Gospel. At the center of his argument, Hart lifts up the images of Christian leaders around the world who have chosen nonviolence to resist oppression, showing the real historical possibilities for peace when we bear truth, courage, and faith as our only weapons.
Publishers Description War, before it is ever manifested in physical, observable violence, and peace, before it is ever felt as harmony or seen in acts of kindness, are the inner realities of the human heart and mind. They are states of consciousness, conditions of the soul. . . . War is hell s abyss, and peace is heaven s grace. Moment by moment we choose which we will live into; indeed, which we will become. from the Introduction In a stirring call to nonviolent resistance, Episcopal priest Larry Hart confronts the compromises Christians around the world have made with their nations uses of violence. Comparing Just War theory with the United States national history of war and exploitation, Hart voices the need for personal and social transformation to live in keeping with the Gospel. At the center of his argument, Hart lifts up the images of Christian leaders around the world who have chosen nonviolence to resist oppression, showing the real historical possibilities for peace when we bear truth, courage, and faith as our only weapons."
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Studio: Cowley Publications
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.52" Width: 6.38" Height: 0.56" Weight: 0.55 lbs.
Release Date Feb 25, 2006
Publisher Cowley Publications
ISBN 1561012416 ISBN13 9781561012411
Availability 0 units.
More About Lawrence D. Hart
LAWRENCE D. HART is an Episcopal priest and rector of Saint George in the Glenn in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado. A former psychotherapist, he studied at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is the author of Hell s Abyss, Heaven s Grace: War and Christian Spirituality."
Reviews - What do customers think about Hell's Abyss, Heaven's Grace: War and Christian Spirituality?
Christian Pacifist Aug 6, 2008
I recently met the author Lawrence Hart at the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship annual conference in Canterbury (July 2008). Having had the opportunity to listen to one of his lectures, and talk with him over the conference, I was impressed enough to buy his book (through this site.com).
As I am British (living in the UK), my concern was would this book have such a heavy US bias, that it would not be of any interest to the UK reader.
While Lawrence does use the Iraq war as a case study, and he does indeed criticise the US government, he does make a number of valid points that would be of interest to readers whatever their nationality.
As someone who is a Lay Reader in the Church of England (I lead worship, preach and teach the Word of God), Lawrence not only writes from a spiritual dimension, but he does so in a way that keeps the readers interest alive (some books on spirituality are so boring, that you pray for them to end).
My opinion, is that this book should be required reading for all those who study Christianity, particularly those who are involved in the ministry of the Word of God
Bush-Bashing, with a new spin. Jul 20, 2007
I had so much hope for this book, based primarily on the subtitle. However, I didn't have to read too many pages to realize that I had been deceived. This focus of this book has far more to with criticizing President Bush and American war policies than it has to do with any type of Christian Spirituality. Additionally, it smacks far too much of leftist politics. This is borne out by the fact that there are nearly as many references to Noam Chomsky as there are to Jesus Christ. I am certainly no fan of the current administration or of America's abuse of military and political power, but few are. This tired criticism that encompasses nearly half the book is not helpful for anyone struggling with the real issues of faith and violence. All that aside, what I really find disturbing is the author's implicit rhetoric which discounts the Christian faith of anyone who disagrees with or doesn't quite measure up to his pacifist views. He makes that statement that Lao Tsu (often called the Father of Taoism) showed himself to be more Christian than many professed Christians (p86). He bases this assessment not on Lao Tsu's profession of faith in Christ (which he did not make), but on a short statement on weapons, killing and victory in battle. By this assessment, it's how you feel about the tragedies of war, above all else, that makes one Christian. How is this helpful for anyone who is struggling with the real issues of what it means to follow Jesus Christ? It was my hope that this book would look at the historical (rather than the contemporary American) aspects of war and how genuine Christians have struggled with this issue over the last 20 centuries. Instead, this book turns out to be nothing more than a rehash of the same liberal pacifist dogma that has been around for decades. And let me be clear, it's not that I necessarily disagree with the author's views on violence, it's that he simply does not effectively deal with the real angst many Christians have with this issue.
A prophetic wake-up call for peace Jul 24, 2006
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (7/06)
In "Hell's Abyss, Heavens Gate" Lawrence Hart focuses on the theme of war and Christian spirituality. His purpose is to show that when faced with a choice, there is only one for the Christian, the way of peace. He goes on to examine the holy or just war within the context of American history. He uses the current war in Iraq as a case study. He then explores the conscience of a Christian pacifist.
Hart discloses the workings behind the scenes that have influenced our involvement in Iraq. He forcefully questions the motives of U. S. business interests and their impact on the political decisions made during the Korean Conflict, the war in Viet Nam, and now the action in Iraq.
Hart draws heavily from other writers using their works to reinforce his conclusions. He has credited their works and has provided extensive notes for each chapter. I personally appreciated Hart's broad base of sources as a resource list for future reading.
During my high school years I was too young to be drafted but as I turned 18 and registered for the draft, I listened to friends who talked about becoming "conscientious objectors". I thought I would be doing the patriotic thing by serving my country in the service. In the year 1951 about to be drafted during the Korean conflict, I selfishly, was looking out for my own safety. Rather than waiting for the imminent draft call and the risk of being sent to the front lines in the army infantry, I joined the Navy. I was never assigned combat duty while in the Navy. I don't think I ever considered what I would do if confronted with killing an enemy.
I am now faced with a new sense of compassion that calls for a life of reconciliation, justice, and peace. Hart reminds the reader of the instruction in the Catechism from the Book of Common Prayer that reads: "The mission of the church is to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ." The unifying theme of Hart's writing calls for "...a conscience that compels...the Christian to do their best to love as God loves, to champion the cause of the poor and vulnerable, to pursue peace, to overcome evil with good, to insist on integrity and truth, and to vigorously oppose injustice and violence."
Hart sums up his concerns in a clarion prophetic wake up call to the American people. "Unacknowledged avarice, arrogance, and aggression will lead to the inevitable decline and fall of the American Empire as it has with all others before it."
This is a moving call to examine nonviolent resistance and should be read by Christian leaders, educators, and opinion makers. It is a book destined to leave an impact on the readers of this generation and generations to come.
A strident call to the power of nonviolent resistance, rather than war, to change the world Jun 7, 2006
Written by an Episcopal priest, Hell's Abyss Heaven's Grace: War and Christian Spirituality is a strident call to the power of nonviolent resistance, rather than war, to change the world. Scrutinizing "Just War" theory as well as America's tainted history of war, conquest, international theft and exploitation, Hell's Abyss Heaven's Grace calls upon the need Christians have to live in accordance with the Gospel. Looking to images of Christian leaders around the world who apply nonviolence methods to resist, Hell's Abyss Heaven's Grace embraces the weapons of truth, courage and faith as paramount virtues in keeping with God's law. Highly recommended.