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A Faith Not Worth Fighting For: Addressing Commonly Asked Questions about Christian Nonviolence (Peaceable Kingdom) Paperback – May 17, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: Peaceable Kingdom (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Pub (May 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1610974999
  • ISBN-13: 978-1610974998
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,069,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Addressing oft-heard questions posed to Christians who refuse to kill, this is a must-read book for all Christians occupying church pews or sitting behind desks in college classrooms. . . . Even if one does not agree with everything written here (and I don't), A Faith Not Worth Fighting For helpfully clarifies the theology of Christian nonviolence so as to foster further--and hopefully fruitful--conversation."
--Tobias Winright
Associate Professor of Theological Ethics, Saint Louis University

"This book addresses the predictable questions posed to pacifists. Having spoken publicly hundreds of times and in varied contexts on pacifism, I know this. However, having read widely on the subject of the Christian faith and violence, I also know that this book is a rare treat. For it offers mature, carefully considered reflections on this standard set of issues. This is almost unheard of; this book is a valuable resource."
--Mark Thiessen Nation
Professor of Theology, Eastern Mennonite University

A Faith Worth Fighting For is much needed. Its essays provide readers with clear thinking and moral seriousness that challenge all followers of Jesus to journey with him in the ways of peace. Just about any possible objection to Christian pacifism is considered--and overcome."
--Ted Grimsrud, Professor of Theology and Peace Studies, Eastern Mennonite University Wipf and Stock Publishers --Wipf and Stock Publishers

In this anthology of new essays, theologians reply to such challenges to Christian pacifism as what would you do if someone were attacking a loved one, what about Hitler, and didn't Jesus chase people from the temple with a whip? By countering common objections to the Christian peace witness, the book endeavors to help both pacifists and nonpacifists alike gain a deeper understanding of how a Christian commitment to nonviolence can be enacted and supported. Especially strong essays include "What About War and Violence in the Old Testament?" by Ingrid Lilly (Western Kentucky University) and "Didn't Jesus Say He Came Not to Bring Peace, but a Sword?" by Samuel Wells (Be Not Afraid), which combines a close reading of the biblical text with a contemporary illustration of the difference between appeasement and a principled peace stance. The essays are, on the whole, varied, lively, and thought provoking. The book includes an introduction by Stanley Hauerwas (War and the American Difference) and an afterword by Shane Claiborne (Irresistible Revolution). --Publishers Weekly

In this anthology of new essays, theologians reply to such challenges to Christian pacifism as what would you do if someone were attacking a loved one, what about Hitler, and didn't Jesus chase people from the temple with a whip? By countering common objections to the Christian peace witness, the book endeavors to help both pacifists and nonpacifists alike gain a deeper understanding of how a Christian commitment to nonviolence can be enacted and supported. Especially strong essays include "What About War and Violence in the Old Testament?" by Ingrid Lilly (Western Kentucky University) and "Didn't Jesus Say He Came Not to Bring Peace, but a Sword?" by Samuel Wells (Be Not Afraid), which combines a close reading of the biblical text with a contemporary illustration of the difference between appeasement and a principled peace stance. The essays are, on the whole, varied, lively, and thought provoking. The book includes an introduction by Stanley Hauerwas (War and the American Difference) and an afterword by Shane Claiborne (Irresistible Revolution). --Publishers Weekly

In this anthology of new essays, theologians reply to such challenges to Christian pacifism as what would you do if someone were attacking a loved one, what about Hitler, and didn't Jesus chase people from the temple with a whip? By countering common objections to the Christian peace witness, the book endeavors to help both pacifists and nonpacifists alike gain a deeper understanding of how a Christian commitment to nonviolence can be enacted and supported. Especially strong essays include "What About War and Violence in the Old Testament?" by Ingrid Lilly (Western Kentucky University) and "Didn't Jesus Say He Came Not to Bring Peace, but a Sword?" by Samuel Wells (Be Not Afraid), which combines a close reading of the biblical text with a contemporary illustration of the difference between appeasement and a principled peace stance. The essays are, on the whole, varied, lively, and thought provoking. The book includes an introduction by Stanley Hauerwas (War and the American Difference) and an afterword by Shane Claiborne (Irresistible Revolution). --Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Tripp York is Visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green. He has published several books including his two most recent, Third Way Allegiance: Christian Witness in the Shadow of Religious Empire (2011) and The Devil Wears Nada: Satan Exposed! (2011).

Justin Bronson Barringer is a graduate student at Asbury Theological Seminary and works for the seminary's Ministry for Global Community Development. He has also been a missionary in China and Greece, worked extensively among homeless people in cities as varied as Nashville and Los Angeles, and served at mercy and justice organizations like The Dream Center and Sojourners.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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The humility with which these essays have been written and presented challenged me.
Leanne M. Zeck
If you take the time to give this book a read, and you really need to, I think you will find yourself just as challenged.
Zack Hunt
I'm writing this review from the perspective of what one of book's authors call "a reluctant pacifist".
Joshua Burkett

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By David Swanson on June 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
American churches have long breathed this pragmatic air, measuring success through numbers like attendance, membership, budgets, campuses, and so on. We often ask the same question as our fellow-Americans: What works?

The best thing about A Faith Not Worth Fighting For is how little the contributors care about this question. This collection of essays "addressing commonly asked questions about Christian nonviolence" covers a range of concerns while sharing a common disinterest in theological pragmatism. In his chapter Greg Boyd makes this especially clear. He writes, "What sets the kingdom pacifist apart, I will argue, is that his or her primary motivation for embracing nonviolence is not ethical, political, or in any way utilitarian. It is rather rooted in the Lordship of Christ and the transforming experience of the Holy Spirit."

Elsewhere contributors refer to nonviolence as confessional or, as Stephen Long identifies it, christological pacifism.

"The pacifism that has haunted and always will haunt the Christian Church...assumes that we have seen and heard God's purposes for creation in Jesus. The pacifism I cannot discredit, and have not yet been able to deny, is the pacifism that claims that we are called through our baptisms to participate in the life of Christ and bear witness to the world as God has borne witness to us. It asks us, what happened to us at our baptisms into the life and death of Christ?"

This non-pragmatic approach will frustrate some readers. While the contributors don't shy away from the common and challenging questions commonly put to pacifists - What would you do if someone were attacking a loved one? What about Hitler?
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Burkett on July 3, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm writing this review from the perspective of what one of book's authors call "a reluctant pacifist". I am not biologically wired to be non-violent. If I had Christianity my way, I'd think that God blessed my country with superior fire power in order to keep peace. And if asked what I would do if someone were attacking a member of my family, my initial (and sinful) response would want to be, "I'd tear that person apart". However, my Christological views compel me to believe that God commands our non-violence. There's just no getting around it. I can easily say that this was the best and most important book I've read in a decade. And because of my inner struggle with Christian non-violence, I'm not giving this book high praise because I joyfully agree with the subject. I give it praise because rarely has one book given me a combination of inspiration, offense, joy, dread, conviction, hope, encouragement, empowerment, and indigestion.

This book was written for every Christian; pacifists, jingoists, and everyone in-between. It provides amazing stability and encouragement for those who practice Christian non-violence. It also serves as a wonderful apologetic and clears up a fleet of misconceptions that often come with the label of pacifist. It tackles the common questions that often get asked to debunk pacifism, e.g., "What about Hitler?" but instead of giving pat answers, the authors address the presuppositions that are often the foundations to these questions. I should think that even the most vocal opponents of Christian non-violence should at least give some pause and consideration to their arguments.

The strongest aspect of this book is the diversity of its authors.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By JR. Forasteros on June 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
Despite a nearly unanimous commitment in the early Church to non-violence and peacemaking, both Christians and non-Christians today are often shocked when someone who follows Jesus refuses to return violence for violence.

Consider, for example, the shock and mixture of awe and criticism with which the larger American culture met the Amish community of Lancaster County, PA when they publicly forgave the gunman who killed 10 schoolchildren and then himself in 2006.

No one thought, Of course they forgave him. Of course they were nonviolent. That's what Christians do.

Christians in the Western world today who continue to maintain that self-giving, nonviolent love is the core of Jesus' gospel, the way he is King and the way his followers announce him as King, are a minority, albeit a growing one.

I've identified myself as a Pacifist for the better part of a decade now, and have participated in countless discussions and arguments on the merits of wholesale commitment to nonviolence.

If you've ever been a part of one of those discussions, you know the common objections frequently raised. They're good, tough questions.

Editors Tripp York and Justin Barringer bring together a diverse group of scholars, pastors and laypersons committed to the nonviolent Way of Jesus to consider those common and difficult questions, such as:

*What about protecting other innocent people? What would you do if someone were attacking your loved one?
*What about Hitler?
*What about all the war and violence in the Old Testament?
*What about when Jesus cleansed the Temple? And didn't Jesus say he came to bring not peace but a sword?
*What about Romans 13? What about the centurion?
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