Peace and War
How should we negotiate our dual identities, as followers of Christ and citizens of a democratic state, when the state goes to war? Contributors engage the Bible's alarming images of war, the teachings of Christ, and the long and difficult debates on peace and war in Christian history.
The ancient Israelites reached no consensus about holy war, just war, and pacifism. Yet Revelation cross-examines the claims of divine blessing upon the civil order, especially when it is violent and economically exploitative. The War of the Lamb, notes Harry Maier, "transforms holy war in a way that finally renounces violence as the means by which God's purposes are achieved."
Does just-war thinking apply to terrorists who don't play by its rules? Can practices of just peacemaking guide us to proactive actions that dry up the sources for terrorist anger and recruitment?
Violent crime wounds our society, with over two million citizens incarcerated. "Restorative justice helps us think about harm in a holistic way," Lorraine Stutzman Amstutz writes, and so it responds better to the needs of victims, offenders, and the community.
The study guides and lesson plans integrate Bible study, prayer, and worship to help us explore Christian attitudes on peace and war. The guides can be used in a series or individually. You may download and reproduce them for personal or group use.
Download the entire Peace and War issue and the set of six Study Guides. Or, download individual pieces by clicking the titles below.
- "War in the Old Testament," by John A. Wood
- "The War of the Lamb," by Harry O. Maier
- "Terrorist Enemies and Just War," by William T. Cavanaugh
- "Just Peacemaking in an Age of Terrorism," by Glen H. Stassen
- "Moral Equality among Soldiers," by Scott A. Sterling
- "Restorative Justice," by Lorraine Stutzman Amstutz
- "A Gentle Embrace," on William Blake's Mercy and Truth are Met Together
- "Kingdom Come," on Edward Hicks' Peaceable Kingdom
Hymn and Worship Service
- "Let Us Sing a Song of Peace," by Terry W. York and C. David Bolin
- Worship Service by David M. Bridges
- "The Armor of God," by Bob Fox
- "Making Peace with Our Enemies," by George A. Mason
- "Peace and the Divine Warrior," by Scott W. Bullard
- Walter Brueggemann, Peace
- Tremper Longman III and Daniel Reid, God is a Warrior
- "Pacifism and Just War: Beyond the Stereotypes," by Erin Dufault-Hunter
- Lisa Sowle Cahill, Love Your Enemies: Discipleship, Pacifism, and Just War Theory
- Terry Nardin (ed.), The Ethics of War and Peace: Secular and Religious Perspectives
Study Guides and Lesson Plans (Download the set of six Study Guides)
- "War in the Old Testament"
- "The War of the Lamb"
- "Terrorist Enemies and Just War"
- "Just Peacemaking"
- "Peace with Our Enemies"
- "Restorative Justice"
- "Is Apocalyptic Imagination Killing Us?" by Scott M. Lewis, S. J. (Apocalyptic Vision)
- "Matthew's Nonviolent Jesus and Violent Parables," by Barbara E. Reid, O. P. (Parables)
- "The End of It All," by Brett Younger (Apocalyptic Vision)