Packing heat in Jesus’ name? Three things he might say about that…

My first reaction to the comments Jerry Falwell Jr. made about guns and shooting “those Muslims” was to wonder if we’re reading the same Bible. Or following the same Jesus. Falwell probably didn’t intend for his remarks to be taken as a serious theological reflection on Christianity and the use of violence. And that’s the problem. There is a distressing lack … Continue reading Packing heat in Jesus’ name? Three things he might say about that…

You’ll always need another scapegoat

May 15: Israeli Defense Force (IDF) soldiers kill two Palestinian teenagers, following a tense standoff during which protesters hurl rocks and soldiers respond with volleys of tear gas. The boys pose no immediate threat to the heavily armed Israeli soldiers. They’re an easy target. Scapegoats. June 12: Palestinian insurgents go looking for an opportunity to vent their own pent-up thirst for … Continue reading You’ll always need another scapegoat

Retributive violence is still violence, even when it’s a slushie

Nonretaliation and enemy-love are not some insignificant whisper lingering on the edge of Jesus’ ethical landscape. They are fundamental identity markers for citizens of God’s kingdom. — Preston Sprinkle, Fight It can be argued that Christine Weick committed an act of violence when she spent Mother’s Day camped at a busy intersection in suburban Grand Rapids with her … Continue reading Retributive violence is still violence, even when it’s a slushie

Children of the drone strikes: do they matter any less than the children of Sandy Hook?

Like most people, I remember watching the news unfold on December 14, 2012, when Adam Lanza gunned down 20 first-graders and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I’m old enough to remember the mass shootings that preceded Sandy Hook. Killeen. Columbine. Virginia Tech. Sandy Hook was different, of course. Most of the victims were … Continue reading Children of the drone strikes: do they matter any less than the children of Sandy Hook?

Words matter: the language of warfare in a kingdom of peace

Last week I was at a conference in Bangkok where the military metaphors flowed freely. “We’re raising up an army.” “Fighting for God.” “Doing battle with the enemy.” “Going to war for this generation.” It felt like an awful lot of violent imagery for a conference that was all about kids and faith. It’s true … Continue reading Words matter: the language of warfare in a kingdom of peace

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the myth of “moral symmetry”

This is part 1 of a series on rethinking the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a Christian, inspired by the most recent assault on Gaza. Part 2 can be read here.   Here’s a little perspective on the conflict in Gaza… Update (03/21/13): An earlier version of this infographic ended with an iconic photo of BBC journalist … Continue reading The Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the myth of “moral symmetry”