Friday, August 16, 2013

Love and Nonresistance: God's Plan for the Church

I've been thinking a lot lately about our responsibility to live peacefully in a sinful world. Thinking biblically, what should this look like?

I recently read a helpful little book entitled Love and Nonresistance: God's Plan for the Church. The author, John Coblentz, looks at Old Testament foundations and New Testament principles that must guide our decision making. Using scripture as his basis of authority, he deals with issues such as warfare in the OT, nonresistance in both the OT and NT, and the separation of church and state.

The most helpful chapter for me focuses on the difference between nonresistance and pacifism. The author writes that pacifism is actually nonviolent resistance. This is significantly different from nonresistance. I had never thought about the difference before. Coblentz suggests that the bible models and teaches a life of nonresistance on the part of the Christian.

I'm still working through these issues. This book was helpful in this path I'm walking. I recommend it highly. You can order it here or here. Enjoy.


Dennis Brown said...

Eric, may I recommend two more books. 1 Christian, the other secular. Just Peacemaking: transforming initiatives for justice and peace, by glenn stasson (and any other book by him). Why Civil Resistance Works: the strategic logic of nonviolent conflict, by Erica Chenoweth &Maria Stephen. the second book makes you wonder if Non-Christains who practice nonviolent resistance, actually are more "Christian" than does who do.

Dennis Brown said...

Another excellent work is Kingdom Ethics by Gary Stasson and David Gushee. It is a very scholarly work written by two people heavily involved in non-violent resistance themselves. This work is very in-depth; over 700 pages long, if I remember correctly. Count Leo Tolestoy has two excellent works on this theme: My Religion and The Kingdom within.

Eric said...


Thank you for the recommendations.

It is both fascinating and sad that the church (in this country at least) does not embrace non-resistance. In fact, the church seems to support the military whenever it goes to war. Sad.