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Category Archives: Pacifism

Yoder’s Warsaw Lectures

In the last year, several books by John Howard Yoder have been posthumously published, all concerned in various ways with the issue of nonviolence. The biggest of these is, of course, Yoder’s Christian Attitudes to War, Peace, and Revolution. The most anticipated, however, may well have been The War of the Lamb. Less heralded is […]

No national anthem at Goshen, please

You may have already heard about Goshen College’s recent decision to start playing the national anthem at sporting events. And if you haven’t heard about the backlash against this move — quite understandable and right as Goshen is a premier Mennonite college.  Anyways, there’s now a petition being signed regarding this decision, and calling upon […]

Be Kind to the Wicked

In Luke’s account of Jesus’ “love your enemies” command there’s an interesting difference from the better-known iteration in Matthew. Luke 6:35 reads “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful […]

EP Responds to Obama’s Nobel Speech

The Ekklesia Project has launched a new blog in response to President Obama’s recent Nobel Prize acceptance speech. I think this is a good thing. EP came into existence to call into question Christians’ complicity with violence as such and war in particular. That was something of an easy target during the Bush years and […]

Yoder on Just War 5

I’ve been reading The War of the Lamb, the most recent posthumous work of John Howard Yoder’s to be released. I’ll have more to say about some of the problems of the published form of the book later. (Short version: I deeply suspect that Stassen has taken too many editorial liberties in the interest of enlisting […]

Words Like Violence Break the Silence

Sorry about the long gap in posts. Turns out I’ve been busy. Anyways, while I’ve been silent there’s been plenty of good stuff being churned out in the blogosphere, including this post from Paul Griffiths. He offers a list of principles on violence and peace on which he hopes all Christians can agree, which read […]

Violence and Idolatry

The older language in which the theme of “conformity to this world” was stated in Bible times had to do with “idols,” with those unworthy objects of devotion to whom men in their blindness sacrificed. Thus it is quite fitting to describe the use of violence as the outworking of an idolatry. If I take […]

A Real 9/11 Reflection

Dan has what I’d consider to be a reflection on 9/11 that really has some substance: As today, is September 11th, I thought I would engage in a bit of remembering — it is, after all, important to recall moments of our history, for this is the story in which we live. On this day […]

Yoder on Just War 4

To my mind this quote is the final nail in the coffin to any who would argue that John Howard Yoder’s engagement with the just war tradition amounted to a claim that either just war or pacifism are acceptable options for Christians: . . . we must proclaim to every Christian that pacifism is not […]

Yoder on Just War 3

As Yoder draws his trenchant analysis of just war theory to a close in his essay “Christ, the Light of the World,” he really drives home the all-important point regarding the question-begging nature of the just war tradition. This essay is, to my mind, one of the most logically sharp pieces of writing that Yoder […]

Yoder on Just War 2

John Howard Yoder was a profound ecumenist and ethicist. In the course of his work he engaged substantially with virtually all Protestant traditions and Roman Catholicism. A substantial part of this engagement occurred in conversation with Christians who subscribe to just war theory. Yoder’s patient, respectful discourse with proponents of just war theory has given […]

Yoder on Just War 1

In John Howard Yoder’s The Christian Witness to the State, Yoder offers a brief analysis of just war theory, in the context of his examination of “examples of political judgment.” In this section, Yoder is investigating and exploring the logic of various forms of ethical-political analysis that diverge from the calling of Christian discipleship, but […]

Violence and Messianism

John Howard Yoder makes an interesting point in his quite critical book on the variety of Christian pacifisms, Nevertheless: The invocation of violence to support any cause is also implicitly a messianism. Any national sense of mission claims implicitly to be a saving community. One cannot avoid either messianism or the claim to chosen peoplehood […]

Abortion, Defensive Violence, and Moral Consistency

The blogs are fairly abuzz with discussions about George Tiller, a late-term abortionist from Kansas who was murdered yesterday by one Phillip Roeder, a radical anti-abortionist. The aftermath of this incident is somewhat predictable. Pro-life groups are scrambling to disassociate themselves from any connection to or endorsement of such action while pro-abortion lobbys have a […]

Is Christianity a Solution?

In the latest issue of Sojourners there is an interview with Jean Vanier and Stanley Hauerwas about their recent book, Living Gently in a Violent World. One of the best quotes from Stanley is in answer to the question of why he argues that “L’Arche is not a solution but a sign. When so many […]

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