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The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict Paperback – January 1, 2004

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Editorial Reviews


"Of the enormous body of literature dealing with conflict resolution and its allied problems, this treatment is the most concrete and helpful I have yet to find." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

In The Peacemaker, Ken Sande presents practical biblical guidance for conflict resolution that takes you beyond resolving conflicts to true, life-changing reconciliation with family, coworkers, and fellow believers.

"'Blessed are the peacemakers,' said Jesus. With crystal clarity this manual lays before us the wisdom that leads humble souls into that blessing."-J. I. Packer, author of Knowing God

"Of people alive and writing today, I know of no more reliable guide for peacemaking in church and family than Ken Sande."-John Piper, pastor, Bethlehem Baptist Church

"The Peacemaker is a practical and faithful primer for how obedience to God's Word can change deadlock into restoration in families, churches, workplaces, neighborhoods, and even prisons."-Charles W. Colson, founder, Prison Fellowship

"Ken Sande challenges us to act redemptively in a culture of enmity and shows us how to do this in our relationships with one another. A modern classic!"-Timothy George, executive editor, Christianity Today

"The Peacemaker is a rich source of practical, biblical guidance for resolving every type of conflict."-Tony Evans, pastor, Oakcliff Bible Church.

"It is the sort of book that will remind every Christian reader that God, before all, is in the business of reconciliation, and that the servant is not greater than the master."-D. James Kennedy, pastor, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church

"The best guidebook I've ever seen on how Christians should resolve conflicts. Every pastor ought to read this book and share it with the leaders of the church. It ought to be a textbook in every Bible school and seminary."-Warren Wiersbe, author of Real Peace

Attorney Ken Sande is president of Peacemaker® Ministries ( He regularly conciliates business, family, employment, and church disputes and serves as a consultant to pastors and attorneys as they work to resolve conflicts outside the courtroom. Ken conducts seminars throughout the United States on biblical conflict resolution.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 318 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books; 3 edition (January 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801064856
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801064852
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (295 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ken Sande is the founder of Peacemaker Ministries and Relational Wisdom 360. Trained as an engineer, lawyer, and mediator, Ken has conciliated hundreds of family, business, church, and legal conflicts. As president of RW360, he now focuses on teaching people how to build strong relationships in the family, church, and workplace. He teaches internationally and is the author of numerous books, articles, and training resources, including The Peacemaker, which has been translated into seventeen languages. He is a Certified Christian Conciliator, an Editorial Advisor for Christianity Today, a Certified Relational Wisdom Instructor, and an Emotional Intelligence Certified Instructor. He and his wife, Corlette, have two adult children and a grandson, and love to hike and ski in the mountains near their home in Billings, Montana.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

99 of 106 people found the following review helpful By Kathy F. Cannata on November 4, 2004
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The Peacemaker is the most helpful guide I have found to assist Christians in resolving conflict. It takes an uncommonly Biblical approach, leading one through a process designed to foster reconciliation, to God's glory. One is instructed in ways to "get the log out of your eye"; to "go and show your brother his faults," and to "go and be reconciled." These principles are applied to a variety of situations: third-party conciliation, forgiveness, confession, church discipline, self-examination, conflict assessment, and more.

Sande continually reminds his readers that conflict is a great opportunity to see the Gospel lived out in radical ways. By this God is glorified in ways the world cannot explain. This must be the focus of all peacemaking: "whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" (I Cor. 10:31).

While Sande provides an abundance of practical techniques for implementing his understanding of Biblical principle of peacemaking, these by themselves cannot accomplish what is needed. The methods only provide opportunities for reconciliation, but true reconciliation is always a heart issue. In the end, all of Sande's steps and procedures must happen through faith alone in Christ alone. Apart from him we can do nothing (John 15:5). And simply going through the motions, however precisely, cannot serve as a substitute for the work of the Holy Spirit, who alone can apply Christ's work of reconciliation to us. Conflict may cease on the surface, and hostilities can be contained or sublimated, but true reconciliation cannot happen apart from the Holy Spirit giving the parties a growing experience of what Christ has done to reconcile us to the Father (2 Cor. 5:18-20).

Since teaching the Peacemaker c.e.
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76 of 90 people found the following review helpful By The Persistent Widow on October 27, 2012
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I had been in verbally and mentally abusive marriage for many years, and as the abuse continued to escalate, I came to my church for help. They recommended Peacemaker mediation in which this book was required reading and the mediation focused on this book's principles. Through the counseling, my husband was empowered and began seriously threatening my life because of it. Matters became much worse for me with this counseling. If you are in an abusive situation, do NOT agree to go to any counseling with the Peacemaker book as it's focus. I fared much better at the local abuse crisis center. At least they took me seriously and offered protection.
There is an accurate review of this book at the A Cry For Justice website by Jeff Crippen. Type Peacemaker in the search.
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45 of 52 people found the following review helpful By David R. Bess VINE VOICE on April 14, 2003
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This book is absolutely the best book I have read on interpersonal conflict management. Sande presents Scripture after Scripture to support his directives to diffuse disharmony among brothers and sisters in Christ. Having served as a pastor for twenty years and having seen my share of church spats, this book would have been extremely helpful years ago.
I highly recommend this volume to all pastors, congregational leaders, and other believers who are seeking a biblical response to conflict in the church. The author also has a website that offers various key concepts of this book in brochure form. The church today could use more works like this one.
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133 of 164 people found the following review helpful By Dokimoi Ergatai on May 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
Ken Sande is an engineer, attorney and conciliator. This book provides practical advice for reconciliation between parties who are in conflict. Most of the advice consists of basic communication skills such as listen to the other person, agree in areas that you can, try to understand from the other person's perspective, etc.

He also follows the Biblical steps for resolution of conflict such as overlook minor conflict, go to the other person directly, get one or two others to go along and finally tell it to the church. His points on overlooking conflict are very good and this is not something that is taught frequently, if at all, in many churches today. The methodology for mediation and arbitration can be helpful and Sande especially touches on ethical responsibilities to avoid exposure to liability.

Born-again Christians will probably have some difficulty with the theology in the book. Sande is a lawyer, not a theologian. His definition of Christianity seems very broad. He quotes Justice Anthony Scalia, a member of the Roman Catholic church, as an authoritative figure on the role of Christianity and conflict/litigation. At times, it seems Sande views anyone associated with a church as a Christian. Perhaps he is intentionally broad in order to make the book accessible to as many people as possible. He does not seem to believe that conversion brings about a change in a person in that "If any man be in Christ he is a new creature. Old things are passed away, behold all things are become new." There is no discussion of the influence and power of the Holy Spirit to make Christian fruit including peaceableness which is not something we try to do in our own strength.

In addition, Sande does not seem to see a change from the Old Testament to the New Testament.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By William T. Brewer on April 9, 2007
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The author, Ken Sande, is an attorney and president of Peacemaker Ministries. His book, Peacemaker, is an anchor book in a growing product line of resource materials and an associated mini-industry focused on biblical peacemaking. It is designed to help readers "turn conflict into an opportunity to strengthen relationships, preserve valuable resources, and make their lives a testimony to the love and power of Christ."

Sande's approach to biblical peacemaking can be summarized as the "Four G's:" (1) glorify God, (2) get the log out of your eye, (3) gently restore, and (4) go and be reconciled. The need is international. Peacemaking does not come naturally in any culture. All people, regardless of nationality, normally respond to conflict in two ways: (1) attack and (2) escape. Each response comes in degrees. Escape may be manifested in increasing levels of intensity by denial, flight, or suicide. Attack may appear as assault, litigation, or murder. Interestingly, the extremes of both responses end in death -- i.e., murder and suicide.

Sande argues for a middle way -- the biblical way. The escape response focuses on the self -- on the "me" of conflict. The best it can achieve is "peace-faking." The attack response centers on the antagonist -- on the "you" of conflict. It is "peace-breaking." The biblical way, in contrast, is concerned about the relationship -- on the "us" of conflict. It is "peacemaking." Peacemaking is positive, fruitful. The more a person strays from peacemaking into peace-faking or peace-breaking, the more costly the negative outcomes become.

Conflict has four sources: (1) miscommunication, (2) differing values, (3) scarce resources, and (4) sin. The first three sources are aggravated by the latter.
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