Offsite Review: Fight: A Christian Case for Nonviolence

Fight: A Christian Case for NonviolenceI am not a pacifist, but I do think that most Christians could stand to learn a bit more about what Christian pacifism really is all about, especially its long background and the biblical reasons behind it.

So I have had Fight: A Christian Case for Nonviolence by Preston Sprinkle on my watch list since I heard about it.  But TC Moore’s review on his blog moves it up the to the ‘read sooner’ rather than later list.

What Moore identifies one of its greatest strengths is that it is a call from within the Reformed community to investigate seriously the case for non-violence.  Stereotypically, Reformed sections of the Christian world have been most invested in institutional strength, including government and has tended to be supportive of a conservative political use of international military power.

And so there are few within the Reformed world that have issued a call to non-violence as a theological practice.  I tend to agree with Moore, that calls within a community to that community are more easily heard than those from outside the community.  So even though I do not identify as Reformed, I am interested in the book because it is from a particularly Reformed position.

Here is a portion of the review:

When Sprinkle turns his attention to the New Testament, Fight turns into an outstanding book. With the next four chapters, Sprinkle will cover a lot of ground, but manage to do it in a way that is both scholarly and yet highly accessible. He covers the nonviolent ethic of Jesus, the nature of Jesus’s “kingdom,” our citizenship in Jesus’s kingdom, the nonviolent meaning of Revelation, and more. These chapters alone are well worth the cost of the book. But for added value, the final third of the book includes a survey of the early church father’s attitudes toward war, militarism, military service, and killing; responses to several common objections to Christian nonviolence; and an imaginative parable that illustrates the type of cruciform discipleship he’s been teaching throughout the book. To top it all off, he even throws in an appendix on Just War theories. Truly, Fight is closer to a library of resources on Christian nonviolence than merely a book. I think readers will be thankful. –

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