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Debate on "It's Just War -- Should Christians Fight?"
"It's Just War" - Should Christians Fight? Debate from FollowersOfTheWay on Vimeo.
On March 28, 2014 we held a debate on the question, "Should
Christians Fight?" in historic Faneuil Hall in downtown Boston.
Speaking in favor of Christians engaging in just war:
Peter Kreeft (Ph.D. Fordham University) is professor of
philosophy at Boston College. He is the author of over 67 books on
philosophy, theology and Christian apologetics. A gifted thinker and
speaker, he speaks at universities and churches all over the world.
He draws inspiration from influential figures such as Socrates, Thomas
Aquinas, and C. S. Lewis. His books include Making Sense Out of
Suffering (Servant Books, 1986), Socrates Meets Jesus
(InterVarsity Press, 1987), and a Handbook of Christian
Apologetics (InterVarsity Press, 1994).
J. Daryl Charles (Ph.D., Westminster Theological Seminary)
teaches in the Honors Program at Berry. He has written 14 books on
ethics, Christian engagement in the public square, and just war. He
is widely regarded as a leading authority on the Christian just war
tradition. His books include Between Pacifism and Jihad
(InterVarsity Press Academic, 2005), War, Peace, and
Christianity (Crossway, 2010), The Just War Tradition
(Intercollegiate Studies, 2012), and America's Wars
Speaking against Christians in war:
David Bercot is an attorney (J.D., Baylor University),
author, and speaker. He has numerous books on the subject of the
early church, where he emphasizes the simplicity of biblical doctrine
and early (pre-325 AD) Christian teaching over what he would call the
complex and compromised body of theological understandings built up
over the centuries that have come to be thought of as orthodoxy. His
most well known books are Will the Real Heretics Please Stand
Up? (Scroll Publishing, 1989), and A Dictionary of Early
Christian Beliefs (Hendrickson, 1998).
Dean Taylor and his wife Tania were both in the U. S. Army when
they realized that, as committed Christians, they had to come to grip
with Jesus' teachings in the Sermon on the Mount on loving one's
enemies. They ultimately left the Army in a new and sincere quest for
truth, determined to follow Jesus Christ under the banner "no
compromise." Mr. Taylor is a widely sought speaker who regularly
addresses the question, "What if Jesus really meant every word He
said?" His best known book is A Change of Allegiance (Radical
Finny Kuruvilla (M.D. Harvard Medical Schoool, Ph.D. Harvard
University) has treated patients at Boston area hospitals such as
Children's Hospital Boston, the Brigham & Women's Hospital, and the
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He served for many years in
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and World Vision, a Christian
humanitarian relief and development agency. He is the author of the
book King Jesus Claims His Church (Anchor-Cross Publishing,
On March 29, 2014, two additional talks addressed the issue of nonresistance:
- Dean Taylor, What if Jesus really meant every word He
here to download)
- Chuck Pike, The Legacy of Nonresistance in the Churches of
Christ. In this talk, Mr. Pike challenges the Restoration churches
(Stone-Campbell heritage) to return to their historic teaching against
Christian participation in war:
The Legacy of Nonresistance in Churches of Christ by Chuck Pike from FollowersOfTheWay on Vimeo.
Recommended follow-up reading and audio to the debate and talks:
- Dean Taylor, A Change of Allegiance (Radical Reformation,
2008). Taylor takes the reader on a journey through the
Scriptures, Christian history, and his own life's story demonstrating
the incompatibility of Christianity and war. Ultimately, Taylor
challenges his readers to consider where their allegiance really lies. Available on amazon.com or Scroll Publishing.
- Finny Kuruvilla, King Jesus Claims His Church (Anchor-Cross
Publishing, 2013). This book addresses nonresistance from within the
Bible's larger teaching on the church. Available
on amazon.com or
from Scroll Publishing.
- John Howard Yoder, What would you do? If a violent person
threatened to harm a loved one... (Herald Press, 1992).
Definitively answers the age-old question on responding to personal
threats of violence. Available
- George Kalantzis, Caesar and the Lamb: Early Christian
Attitudes on War and Military Service (Wipf & Stock, 2012). A
professor at Wheaton College surveys the early Christian writings and
concludes that the ante-Nicene (pre-325 AD) church was uniformly
opposed to war. Available
- David Bercot, What the Early Christians Believed about War
(audio CD), available from Scroll Publishing.
- Leonard Verduin, Anatomy of a Hybrid: A study in church-state
relationships (Eerdmans, 1976). A brilliant book on the
relationship of the state and the church. Available on amazon.com or from Scroll Publishing.