I believe that Christian pacifism ultimately rests on our understanding of God. As Jesus taught, when we love our enemies we are “children of our Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:45). An important aspect of our understanding of God is how we view that salvation that God offers. In this chapter, “Salvation in the Prophets, Salvation in Jesus: Mercy Not Retribution,” which is from my book-in-progress, Pacifism With Justice: The Biblical and Theological Case, I look at biblical understandings of salvation. I argue for a strong continuity among the teachings of the Old Testament prophets and Jesus–all agreeing that God’s mercy lies at the heart of salvation, not retribution.
Quite often in discussions of Christian pacifism, the concepts of “peace” and “pacifism” and “love” are held in tension with the theme of “justice.” In recent years, the discipline of restorative justice has arisen that, in its more faith-oriented strands, has sought to rethink the meaning of justice in ways that see it as more complimentary with peace, pacifism, and love.
This essay, “Healing Justice: The Prophet Amos and a ‘New’ Theology of Justice,” is chapter four in my book-in-process, Pacifism With Justice: The Biblical and Theological Case. It addresses the understanding of justice reflected in the Old Testament, specifically, the Book of Amos. It argues for a view of justice that emphasizes justice as focused on healing.
A huge issue in the discussion of Christian pacifism is “what do we do with the Old Testament?” Here is my attempt to speak to that issue. This essay is called “The Old Testament Peace Vision.” It is the third chapter in my book-in-process called Pacifism With Justice: The Biblical and Theological Case.
Here is the link to the second chapter from my book-in-process, Pacifism With Justice. This chapter is called, “A Christian Pacifist Perspective on War and Peace.” It is a historical survey of Christian perspectives on war and peace from a pacifist angle.
I am in the process of completing a book with the working title, Pacifism With Justice: The Biblical and Theological Case. I will be posting and revising the chapters in the days to come. This is the first chapter, “Introduction: Defining Pacifism.”
This is the playlist for Wavelength’s 5/24/08 show here
These are two recent essays I have written reflecting on the present relevance for Christian theology and ethics of the 16th century Anabaptists.
They are: “Anabaptism for the Twenty-First Century” and “Whither Anabaptist Theology.” Both are included in my book, Embodying the Way of Jesus: Anabaptist Convictions for the Twenty-First Century(Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2007).
Introduction to Revelation–Sermon #1: “Living in Apocalyptic Times”
The Book of Revelation is best read as peace literature, even though most Christians in the past 2,000 would not agree. I will be developing the case for such a reading in a series of posts. These will be drawn from a set of sermons I am presenting at Shalom Mennonite Congregation in Harrisonburg, VA, during 2008 and 2009.
In the posts I will summarize the main points of my argument that are developed at more length in the sermons. The full written versions of the sermons will be available in the “page” area of this site. Click here for the first sermon, “Living in Apocalyptic Times.”