Ten propositions on peace and war

by Richard on October 6, 2006

Faith and Theology: Our friend Kim offers Ten propositions on peace and war

Time to return to our roots. For its first two hundred-plus years the church was pacifist. “Christ,” wrote Tertullian (c.160-c.225), “in disarming Peter, disarmed every soldier” – and Tertullian’s words are echoed by Irenaeus, Clement, Origen, Cyprian, Lactantius, Maximillian, Marcellus, et al. Some scholars suggest that early Christian pacifism had more to do with the prohibition of taking oaths to the emperor than with the non-violence of Jesus, but given the weight of patristic evidence, not to mention the centrality of Christ’s command to love our enemies, that hardly seems likely. In any case, pacifist – radically pacifist – the church was until (you guessed it!) the “nationalisation” and domestication of the church under Constantine. Ever since, mainline churches – Just War theory notwithstanding – have consistently given their blessing to wars fought by the empire or nation in which they resided.

A top post.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Kim 10.06.06 at 10:10 am

Thanks for the blurb, Richard. And, DH, if you start on the “Lion of Judah” business I shall be tempted to slit my wrists! :)

2

Beth 10.06.06 at 1:19 pm

Not on your birthday you don’t, lovely boy.

And may I take this opportunity to say…

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday, dear Kimmy,
Happy Birthday to you!

3

Richard 10.06.06 at 7:55 pm

Is it Kim’s birthday? He’s getting old, isn’t he? Hope you haven’t been over-excited today, Kim. ;)

4

Kim 10.07.06 at 12:23 am

Over-excited? Yeah. But it’s got nothing to do with my birthday: the Mets won again last night! BASEBALL, Richard: you know, cricket without the Valium Or maybe cricket with Viagra! :)

5

DH 10.09.06 at 2:46 pm

Well, Kim why not just slit your wrists. :) Just kidding. Just saying here without saying it how multifaceted the Trinity is. See, I said it without saying it. :)

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