Gregory A. Boyd’s chapter tackles the issue of whether nonviolence is expected of nations or of only Christians, Ingrid Lilly addresses the Old Testament war narratives, and Andy Alexis-Baker takes up the question of why Jesus didn’t ask the centurion to abandon his military vocation. Alongside essays from Samuel Wells, John Dear, and J. Nelson Kraybill, the essays exploring the Biblical witness concerning nonviolence are rich and honest. As Kraybill points out, Scripture’s theology on the issue tends toward the polyphonic, creating room for nonviolence though not univocally bearing witness to nonviolence. Other issues, such as the practical questions of protecting third-parties, policing, and attacks upon loved ones, are taken up by Stephen Long, Schlabach, and Amy Laura Hall. Alongside other essays by Justin Barringer and Robert Brimlow, the more personal, existential questions of nonviolence are addressed with candor and honesty. As with any issue of discipleship, the question of nonviolence is not one which can be simply thought but not acted upon. These chapters address the pastoral issues of nonviolence with sensitivity and academic acumen, looking at nonviolence as it impinges upon our daily life.
One of the co-editors, Justin Bronson Barringer, hangs out across the street at Asbury Seminary. We haven’t met yet, but I hope to soon!