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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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War: Four Christian Views Paperback – April 1, 1991

4.1 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert G. Clouse (Ph.D., University of Iowa) is professor of history at Indiana State University.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: BMH BOOKS (May 1, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0884690970
  • ISBN-13: 978-0884690979
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #548,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Each of the four authors writes an essay defending his position, and then the other three respond, making for an interesting dialogue.
All four make compelling cases, partly because the New Testament does not directly address the issue of what a Christian or Christian community's response to war should be. The history of the Christian church will show how very differently popes, rulers, and Protestant communities viewed involvement in war.
Augsburger makes a compelling case for pacifism. What is attractive about pacifism is that it so brilliantly proclaims to the world a different way, the Way of Christ Himself who eschewed violence against those who mistreated him. The community then places its faith only in God for its protection. This position thus is naturally connected with the refusal to be politically involved, which it has historically accompanied in the Mennonite and other pacifist communites.
Hoyt says Christians can serve their country, but only in non-combat roles, as the Christian is bound not to perpetrate violence to another human. I must admit I was strongly attracted to this - and I'm sure this probably has reflected the views of many conscientious Christians once drafted. But this breaks down, because it sets up a double standard.
Holmes presents the classical doctrine of "just war". The problem with this is that a "just war" is hard to come by. Acting completely in accordance with it requires that no military forces attack territory or citizens belonging to the aggressor -- only retaking territory the enemy has taken -- thus being purely defensive. Reality tends to make conducting a "just war" impractical and unwise -- the Allies would have stopped at Germany's borders in World War II.
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Format: Paperback
This 4 views book is a lively, largely helpful discussion between interlocutors of varying ability championing positions of varying credibility. Since I found a distribution of skill and helpfulness in the essays and discussions, the easiest way to approach this is to review each of the authors separately.

Dr Hoyt is a dispensational seperationalist whose eschatology leads him to a position that Christians should be personally against violence but should not try to discourage their country's war effort and can even join it in a non-combatant role. The weakest position also happened to get the weakest defender. Dr Hoyt is a sincere old time Bible preacher with obvious passion for the things of God and the mission of the church...but he is not a skilled debater or a convincing author and is generally outmatched throughout the discussion. Augsburger briefly summarized the position in order to distinguish his from it and gave it a better treatment in 2 paragraphs.

Dr Augsburger is a much more formidable presence (perhaps the most formidable presence of the four) as the voice of pacifism and makes a stirring case for active non-violent intervention after the style of the cross and Dr King. I could not help wanting him to be right. And regardless of if he is, he does his job in championing the strict Sermon on the Mount ethic which any Christian has to come to terms with.

Dr Holmes, in his defense of the just war position, made the best use of the format. He was gracious but pointed in his comments. He stayed on message, effectively conveying a concise and immanently defendable thesis before we even got to his chapter.
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Format: Paperback
I think most Christians' views on war are determined largely by their culture and only secondarily by their understanding of the Bible. Many Christian people seem to be unaware of other views, or have dismissed them too quickly. I am disturbed by the enthusiasm for war amongst many Christian people, and would hope that Clouse's book might be a small corrective to this.
This topic is worthy of thinking through, because it relates to our understanding of the relationship between the Old and New Testaments and also to the character of the God who is revealed in the Bible.
The four writers each present persuasive cases. If this makes you uncertain about your previously held views, it will have been worth reading the book.
Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
In this work we hear from four Christian authors, each of whom has very different beliefs about what Christians should think of warfare. Ausburger argues that the Christian cannot morally participate in war in any way, even as a noncombatant. Hoyt allows Christians to serve as chaplans and in other roles, but not as soldiers. Holmes adheres to the 'just war' philosophy. Brown believes that Christians can even support preventive wars or crusades. The pacifist arguments of Ausburger and Hoyt are rejected by most Christians. If adhered to historically, Christian Europe would have been become Muslim, and the gospel of Christ could not have been shared with the world. It seems unlikely that God intended his people to be eradicated for the faith. I prefer Brown's position. Although the just war philosophy does have its appeal, it is too limiting. Under its guidelines, the allied nations could not even have have fought on to total victory in World War II. In the nuclear age, the just war has no place whatever. Each Christian must come to his own conclusions about the justice of any particular war, and not be limited by hard and fast rules from times past. This book is only an introduction to the subject, but it is a good one indeed.
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