Complete with pictures, The Gospel of Rutba: War, Peace, and the Good Samaritan Story in Iraq (Orbis, 2012), by Greg Barrett, details a remarkable story of generosity, hospitality, and community between the citizens of two warring nations. After three U.S. Christian peace activists visiting Iraq were nearly killed in a car accident outside the bombed-out town of Rutba, Iraqi Muslims came to their aid and initiated a sacred friendship. This “good news” amidst war is a gospel worth retelling.
With both truth and grace, Logan Mehl-Laituri—an Iraq combat veteran turned conscientious objector—explains in Reborn on the Fourth of July: The Challenge of Faith, Patriotism, and Conscience (InterVarsity Press, 2012) how the glorification of military service does not live up to the reality of war. A compelling read for churches and Christians struggling with questions of faith, patriotism, and violence.
Coauthored with human-rights journalist Julia Lieblich, Wounded I Am More Awake: Finding Meaning After Terror (Vanderbilt University Press, 2012) recounts the extraordinary life of Esad Boskailo—a doctor who survived the genocide in Bosnia and now helps victims of terror as a psychiatrist specializing in trauma recovery. Employing a human-rights framework rather than a theological one, this book illustrates how storytelling can be healing—a timely lesson for congregants, churches, and clergy as they grapple with the problem of evil in an age of terror.