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Choosing Against War: A Christian View Paperback – August 1, 2002
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From the Publisher
What would happen if Christians assumed that their allegiance to God, their identity with Christ, and their commitment to the church would inevitably lead them to respond to the worlds pain differently because of their faith? In the face of violence, are there any options open to the Christian believer other than the "default" impulse toward patriotic unity and a steely determination to exact "an eye for an eye"?
A must-read for anyone concerned about the endless cycles of wars and violence, and the possibility that Gods love is stronger than our societys current answers.
Top Customer Reviews
This book balances careful theological thought, effective stories and illustrations, a historic survey, and questions of practical application. Roth works hard to support pacifism while rejecting the elitism that often colors many anti-war manifestos. He faces head on the difficult question of how to be a Christian and a citizen. While his position is well articluated, he acknowledges other views without ridiculing them.
My hope, in this time of war and rumors of war, is that many will discover this fine book and share it with their friends.
If you are willing to be challenged by the way of the cross, this book will give you a powerful challenge and inspire you to further growth, both on a personal level as well as on a social and a political level.
The book bases itself on the Bible, particularly on the words and the life of Jesus, with helpful examples of real life applications of the gospel through the ages.
"The resurrection was the vindication of God's ultimate triumph of love over the forces of violence. It guarantees to all those who follow in the humble way of Christ, that in the end -against all odds and contrary to the logic of human reason- Shalom will indeed prevail."
The book is well written and easy to read and would be a good start for any congregation to look at its own position toward the use of force and violence.
The reader from Canada who wrote the one star review above must not have read the book. John Roth does refer specifically to the Old Testament. " The Old Testament story offers a series of powerful hints regarding God's desire to reconcile humans to each other and Himself. But the fullness of God's revelation to humanity is to be found in Christ and the message of the NT gospel. This may seem like an obvious point for most Christians, but it is especially relevant for those who see in the violence of the OT a justification for Christians to participate in war today."
What was unforgettable was the author's story about a change of heart rarely seen this side of heaven. Though I appreciate his discussion about war, I will remember the book for the story that I have now shared with hundreds of people, Roth included it as an alternative to revenge, it is breathtaking, my recount follows:
When Nelson Mandela was released from an African prison and became the leader of his country, he established panels to investigate acts of brutality that had taken place under apartheid. One particular case involved a woman who was forced to watch her family be killed by soldiers led by a man named van der Broek. The atrocities had been committed eight years earlier, and now her torturers were brought to trial, and she was asked by the judge what their punishment should be.
Unconscionably the soldiers had burned her son and her husband in front of her eyes as living torches. They then danced and laughed as the men suffered and their bodies turned to ashes. Before her husband died he told her, "Forgive them."
So what would your answer be to the judge? This is not a hypothetical question, but a living, breathing moment of anguish on the cutting edge of raw human emotion. Reporters in the court room recorded what happened next. I first learned of the amazing story from writer John Roth.
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"I want three things," the woman said calmly. "I want Mr. van der Broek to take me to the place where they burned my husband's body. I would like to gather up the dust and give him a decent burial.
"Second, Mr.Read more ›
I would instead recommend reading some of the works of John Howard Yoder, which seem to be much more thought out and supported.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An absolutely superb book dispelling the myth of the just war and other fallacies for commiting violence from a Christian perspective.Published 14 months ago by Darrell L Browning
Most of the thinkers and writers championing the case for Christian pacifism, while nuanced and intellectually capable, lack any forthcoming advice when it comes to practically... Read morePublished on July 23, 2010 by D S