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Christianity and War and Other Essays Against the Warfare State Paperback – January 14, 2008

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Editorial Reviews


Truth has an unhealthy habit of confronting lies. In my case, it came in the writings of Laurence Vance. His writings used the wisest military tactics, on the one hand, scrambling my communications with military doctrine, and on the other, attacking my religious beliefs with a brilliant flanking maneuver. My concurrent discovery of worked together with Vance's writings to challenge my rather weak public education and strong military indoctrination. I found both my Christian faith and my understanding of the state confused and uncertain. My first reaction was anger and disbelief. Vance is nothing if not a persistent Christian. Indeed, he is running the race to win, and has refused the world s attempts to silence him. Each essay unsettled my military view, my theology, and my understanding of the history of the Christian Church. I found myself running to history books, historical Christian writers, and the Bible to disprove him. Most describe it as a loss of innocence that moment of enlightenment when we discover a painful truth of life. My loss of innocence is still ongoing. Vance has caused me to open my eyes. The result has been a discovery of the wonderful truths and economics of libertarianism, and a correction and deepening of my faith in and understanding of Christianity, and most importantly, the orthodox, historical, and biblical views of war. Growth does not come without price, nor does following the teachings of Christ. Inspired by Vance, I have set about trying to reach my Christian brethren who support war and the military due to their confusion over key passages in the Bible. To some degree I have found myself ostracized; yet, rather than discouraging me, it tells me that I am on the right course, for Christ himself predicted such for those who followed him in obedience. In this most commendable work, Vance greatly expands upon his previous edition. It will be my goal to get a copy into the hands of every military comrade and fellow Christian that I know well enough to reach with my concerns. Let me not suggest that the reader must be military or Christian. Indeed, this book is a perfect antidote for the poison being slowly fed through the media, our public schools and universities, conservative and fundamental Christian churches, and the military. Within its pages, the reader will surely be challenged in his prior understanding of history and the biblical view of warfare. Vance pulls no punches; I cringed the first time I found myself being called a Christian warmonger. As I have said, growth can be painful. I will be forever indebted to Vance for his clear understanding of history, Christianity, and libertarian thought. I challenge the reader to not simply accept what he writes, but to test what he writes by holding it against the pale of orthodox Christianity, the Bible, and history itself. This book is a clarion call that challenges the modern American church, the military member, and all citizens as to their beliefs concerning the historical and moral aspects of warfare. For me, it was literally life changing. --From the Foreword by Mike Reith (USAF, Major, Ret.)

From the Publisher

These seventy-nine essays have one thing in common--they were all published on the premier anti-state, anti-war, pro-market website,, during the period from October 29, 2003, to November 19, 2007. The vast majority of them were written exclusively for that website and have never appeared in print until is the brainchild of Lew Rockwell, the founder and president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Ala., and a leading opponent of the central state, its wars, and its socialism.Each essay is reprinted verbatim, with the exception of the correction of a few minor errors. It should be noted, however, that the original spelling, capitalization, and punctuation are followed in all quotations. Because they were published on the Internet, most of the essays originally contained numerous links to documentation and further information on the Web that the reader could click on if he desired. Because this feature is not possible in a printed format, the reader is encouraged to consult the online versions of each essay at, where, thanks to the wonders of technology, they are archived. Many of the essays also originally included pictures, which, for space considerations, are not included here.The essays in each chapter are listed in their order of publication. With the exception of the essays on the U.S. Global Empire in chapter 7, which are better read chronologically, the essays can be read in any order.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Vance Publications; 2nd edition (January 14, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976344858
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976344858
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #638,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Laurence M. Vance is an author, a publisher, a lecturer, a freelance writer, the editor of the Classic Reprints series, and the director of the Francis Wayland Institute. He holds degrees in history, theology, accounting, and economics. The author of twenty-four books, he has contributed over 600 articles and book reviews to both secular and religious periodicals.

Vance's writings have appeared in a diverse group of publications including the Ancient Baptist Journal, Bible Editions & Versions, Campaign for Liberty,, the Independent Review, the Free Market, Liberty, Chronicles, the Journal of Libertarian Studies, the Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, the Review of Biblical Literature, Freedom Daily, and the New American. His writing interests include economics, taxation, politics, government spending and corruption, theology, English Bible history, Greek grammar, and the folly of war. He is a regular columnist, blogger, and book reviewer for, and writes a column for the Future of Freedom Foundation.

Vance is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, the Grace Evangelical Society, and the International Society of Bible Collectors, and is a policy adviser of the Future of Freedom Foundation and an associated scholar of the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Alan on December 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
Just read of the 'Silent Night' truce between the Germans and British 90 years ago for a stunning, tear-jerking account of the inherent goodness and lack of ill-will in man's heart. The massive slaughter of war is not found in such hearts, it is shoved upon us as a few old men barter with the lives of many young men. As humans let alone Christians we should reject the few warmongers, close our ears to their calls for killing, maiming and war.

Don't let the few rot the rest of us.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Michael W. McKinney Sr. on March 23, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very informative and scripturally truthful. As a Christian minister,I knew my view of war, and this book helped support it. It also supported the direction in which I want to lead my congregation. I highly recommend this book to anyone wondering whether this, or any other war, is moral and just. If you know where you stand, this book will help support your belief. If you are unsure, this is a great tool to use in forming a position.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By James E. Egolf VINE VOICE on December 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
Laurence Vance's book titled CRISTIANITY AND WAR is an informative little book that should urge those who claim to be Christians to think. The book is also to those who are of different religions or have no religious affiliation at all. The book provides a careful yet scathing denounciation of well known clergy who support the current disasters in Western Asia, a good assessment of the Anti-Federalists' fear of standing armies,and a good assessment of George Washington's and Thomas Jefferson's warnings against "entangling alliances." This termed was coined by Jefferson rathet than Washington even though Washington made similiar warnings. The book ends with the horrors of war and a detailed presentation of the vastness of the American empire.

The first essay of this book is a biblical refutation of those teleision clergy who breathe and shout for war using weak biblical arguements to support their wild claims. Vance cites other biblical references to cancel these statments. One should ask how many of the televison pastors ever went to war or heard gunfire fired in anger. One gets a good view of them in George Orwell's HOMAGE TO CATALONIA. One should also refer to Andy Jacobs THE 1600 KILLERS:THE IRAQ EDITION. Mr. Jacobs is the former member of the House of Representatives who was a battle decorated Marine during the Korean War. He calls such clergy and arm chair patriots as War Wimps and Chicken Hawks.

The second set of essays consists of excerpts from THE ANTI-FEDERALIST PAPERS challneging the establishment of standing armies. Vance quotes some of the ANTI-FEDERALIST authors.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Zoni on December 10, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The more and more I studied the Bible, the more and more I hated war. As a former Army grunt and former warmonger, I stumbled upon this book and realized that not all Christians in America are "rah, rah, kill'em all for the USA" individuals. This is an awesome book. Of course it would not get good reviews from the likes of Fox News nor would Fox ever interview the author.

The author's style is both enjoyable to read and specific in laying out the facts. Well researched book on the subject of war. This country has been fooled for too long believing that murdering others is justifiable, simply because the government says it's "OK." We have led our children down a road with a poisonous teaching that wearing the uniform for this country will be for noble and just causes.

The German's thought they were attacked. Their emotions were manipulated and a "righteous" war they fought, until Nuremberg war crime trials. Every true Christian ought to exam their hearts and be honest with evaluating what this author has clearly laid out.

This book is a MUST READ. I have it on my book shelf with plans to re-read it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James R. Morrella on July 5, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These are essays from Lew I belief D r. Vance is correct in the premise of this book. On the other hand this is not a work for someone not willing to read many very long quote's by theologians from the 16th-19th centuries. I had hoped he would state his own views, with reference to scripture. As was often the case in the past the paragraphs go on and on and on. Vance only has brief comments. His comments show little compassion for those who hold different views and will just make many people angry, rather than convince them in seeing supporting the warfare/welfare state is morally wrong and destructive to our way of life.

I also take some exception. I believe we need a strong military as (regardless of the cause) there are those who wish our destruction. Even with a change in policy the damage has been done. We need a government that will abide by the Constitution rather than one which misuses our military. I would also point out to Dr. Vance that collateral damage in war is virtually unavoidable (especially with the type of adversaries we have fought). I agree we should not be the Earths policeman, should not interfere in the political internal affairs of other nations.

I find the volume interesting, but it is not what is needed to change the minds of the average Christian (much less the non-Christian). Too many will be offended by some of the comments that do not take into account all the lies and deception people have been presented. Though I think most people will never get by reading the quotes from the past. I still may present this to my Pastor.
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