Recent events have Americans once again debating (more like shouting at each other) the relative merits of private firearms vs. gun control in our country. As usual, the rhetoric is extreme, emotions are high, and friendships are strained over the disagreement. There are legitimate discussions to be had over various policy alternatives, and I have opinions aplenty on many of the issues myself. I’m not … Continue reading Christians and the Second Amendment
Those who are interested in the topic of War & Peace on this site should be sure and read Ronald Sider’s excellent article The Early Church on War and Killing on the Books & Culture website sponsored by Christianity Today. Sider reviews the arguments of two recent authors, John F. Shean and Despina Iosif who, in separate works, “argue that early Christians held widely divergent views … Continue reading “The Early Church on War and Killing” by Ron Sider — Article Recommendation
It seems every day or two I hear another Christian commentator speak of how Christianity in general, and American Christianity in particular is, or at least will soon be, “at war with Islam.” They point to the all-too-frequent attacks on the West by Muslim extremists, and the rhetoric of groups like Al-Quaeda and Daesh (1) as evidence. Sometimes, they also appeal to the terrible treatment … Continue reading “The War on Islam” and a Christian response
In my myriad discussions over the years, with friends and acquaintances who are dubious about the idea of Christian nonviolence, a recurring objection has been raised that often comes in a form much like this: “Yes, your theory is all well and good, but in the real world people are violent and evil, and can only be dealt with by force.” On the surface this … Continue reading The Practicality of Nonviolence
Oklahoma City, New York City, Riyadh, Aden, Sandy Hook, Boston. Timothy McVeigh, Khalid Sheik Mohammad, Osama Bin Laden, Adam Lanza, the Tzarnaev brothers. While parts of the world have experienced random violence against civilians for years, it seems that agenda-driven mass violence — terrorism—has touched the United States in this generation, more than ever in our history. Some even say we’ve entered an “age of … Continue reading Loving Our Enemies in an Age of Terrorism
For years, the abuse of Scriptural passages to justify the aggressive exploits of nations has driven me nuts. Whether it’s the the account of the conquest of Canaan, used by European colonists to take the New World and exterminate or marginalize its indigenous population, or the same story repeated by the Afrikaaner Dutch in South Africa, it’s always repulsed me. And when revisionist American Christians … Continue reading Book Review – “Chosen Nation” by Braden P. Anderson
For a while now I’ve been reading (and will soon review) the book Chosen Nation by Braden P. (Brad) Anderson. There are a variety of topics in the book that I’m going to want to engage, but one in particular caught my attention last night. In Chapter 7, Brad discusses the work of two writers, Stephen H. Webb and Richard John Neuhaus, both of whom … Continue reading “Thus it is, therefore thus it should be.” Ruminating on a theological fallacy
The killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman earlier this year has brought out the usual political punditry. Everyone “knows” the “real” reason Martin took a bullet, even though they can’t seem to agree on what that real reason actually was. As with theology, so with politics: the conclusion to which one comes seems more easily predicted by one’s prior beliefs, than by the facts … Continue reading Trayvon Martin – Race, Guns, or Pride?
I have just finished Lee C. Camp’s book Who Is My Enemy? This is a book every American Christian should read–full stop. It is also a book everyone who’s frustrated with the public political stance of American Christians should read. And it’s also a book anyone wrestling with the questions of war and peace with regard to the church and/or teachings of Jesus Christ should … Continue reading Who Is My Enemy? by Lee C. Camp (book review)
Everyone, please go read Shane Claiborne’s excellent piece When Soldiers Become Saints over at Red Letter Christians. Shane is telling us of a modern-day soldier who became a conscientious objector, and also of St. Martin of Tours, whose feast day happened to coincide with Veterans’ Day. This is the kind of church history we seldom hear. . .but should!