We are deeply concerned.
War & Peace
Just War Theory is a mode of analysis that lists criteria by which war may be considered righteous before, during and after its execution. The criteria to consider before a war are: declared by legitimate authority, just cause, right intent, reasonable hope of success, last resort, and announcement. The criteria to consider during war are: non combatant immunity, proportionality of damage to good that will result, limitations on weapons and tactics. Young scholars in [...]
The presidential tickets in this election on both sides of the aisle have lots of "personality;" some of the candidates have even been referred to as "rock stars." John McCain's campaign manager Rick Davis has said that "this election is not about issues, this election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates." That has been widely interpreted as a prediction that the election will be about personalities more than about issues. That would be a tragedy. [...]
The recent Georgia-Russia mini-war in and around South Ossetia was definitely not a religious war, but it serves as a reminder that religious identity doesn't even come in third place when issues of national identity are at issue. While the battle raged, the majority of participants -- and casualties -- were Christians on both sides.
In both countries, the Orthodox Church [...]
Seven years ago this morning, airplanes were flown into the World Trade Center Towers, the Pentagon, and a field in rural Pennsylvania. The next day I joined with a few others to draft the following statement. In a few weeks, more than 4,000 of America's religious leaders of all faiths had signed it and it was printed as an ad in The New York Times.
Seven years later, as we remember that day, it is appropriate to reflect on this statement and to wonder how the [...]
Peace is a respectful, harmonious, and cooperative relationship between groups and nations. Peace is the serenity that comes from clarity, the assurance that the truth will reveal itself, even if only in part. Biblical wisdom teaches us that "there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed nor hid that shall not be known" (Luke 12:2). Violence arises from fear born of deception. Scratch a conflict and find a lie. Love rejoices in the truth and perfect love, complete, [...]
Coinciding with the visit of a dear friend who's spent the past few years working in Afghanistan for both development NGOs and (non-U.S.) government agencies, the DVD of Charlie Wilson's War recently arrived from Netflix. My friend recommends it. Also, I [heart] Philip Seymour Hoffman. And I can tolerate Tom Hanks in appropriate doses. But an
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God" (Matthew 5:9).
Peacemaking is an important responsibility of people who follow Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Christianity requires that we, ourselves, become the living, breathing, flesh-and-blood manifestation of the teachings of Jesus. Our calling is to a radical obedience to Jesus' call to follow him (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship). The teachings of Jesus are extreme [...]
Some compelling quotes from a recent Rand Corp. study caught my eye in today's Washington Post -- the emphasis is added:
The Bush administration's terrorism-fighting strategy has not significantly undermined al-Qaeda's capabilities, according to a major new study that argues the struggle against terrorism is better waged by law enforcement agencies [...]
Recently, I had the unique opportunity of meeting with four Iraqi evangelicals at a conference in a country near Iraq. They were young church leaders. Despite the circumstances in their country, they were upbeat and gracious. Having never been to Iraq, nor having personally met an Iraqi, I was eager to hear their perspectives on current events. My conversations with them helped me understand to a greater degree the true complexity of war.
One of them was a church planter in a large [...]