Sunday, October 30, 2005

Analysis for week 10-31:

I cannot think of a more important issue that has been so severely ignored in the churches that I have attended, than that of a Christ-follower’s response to war. In fact, it has rarely been discussed in my classes here at Fuller Seminary. I did take an ethics class, in which the subject of war/pacifism was briefly addressed because of time constraints. However, the teacher quite responsibly offered us a bibliography for our own personal use after the class regarding pacifism/war. Therefore, the bibliography for this week comes from one that I received from Ethics in a Secular Society taught at Fuller Seminary by Elizabeth Phillips. It was actually her encouragement for us to take a closer look at these issues that sparked my interest in joining this group. But outside of her brief commentary on the subject, as mentioned before, this subject has rarely come up, with a few exceptions, in my education.

Possibly the reason for avoiding the subject is because Christians are becoming more polarized over the topic. However, in my mind, that requires all the more that we open up the tables of discussion in order to maintain a sense of unity, to challenge one another to move towards Christ, and simply to work on our listening skills.

It is for this reason that I introduce this bibliography this week. I have found all of the books to be incredibly insightful and helpful in my journey to coming towards a better understanding of the various Christian perspectives on the topic. However, if I were to suggest only two books for someone to read, they would be “The Just War: Force and Political Responsibility” by Paul Ramsey and “Nevertheless: The Varieties and Shortcomings of Religious Pacifism” by John Howard Yoder. The reason that I suggest these two is because I believe they both do an excellent job at looking at their views critically. Yoder’s book in particular offers an excellent overview on the topic of pacifism. He describes the broad spectrum that people take on the subject and still hold to pacifism. The same is true of just war. It would be irresponsible to say that all people who believe in just war believe the same things. These two books are extremely helpful in coming to step into the shoes of both sides, allowing the reader to take a critical look from the inside.


Blogger Kevin Lewis said...

Thank you for your insight. I have had a little more discussion of these issues in classes at Fuller, but they have been specific to theology/culture classes and in ethics classes like "Global Empire or Christ's Kingdom? Should Christians Run the World" The discussion is out there; take heart.

9:45 PM  

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