A few days ago, I offered some positive reports from peace summit participants. Here’s a report from a less impressed observer. In “Evangelicals for Peace Eye Return to Eden,” a representative from the Institute for Religion and Democracy repeats accusations that evangelicals interested in nonviolence are starry-eyed idealists who lack a realistic sense of this world’s violence. Here’s a taste:
The conference highlighted many current weaknesses both in Middle- East policy and in perceived Evangelical attitudes towards Muslims. Speakers cautioned against the sustained military-industrial complex because of its financial risk, and they advocated for faith-based diplomacy. However, the conference at times strayed towards an oversimplification of theological principles surrounding war and its justification and tended to neglect the role of prudence in policy.This overarching attitude of the “Evangelicals for Peace” conference presupposed that war is never the “answer” without considering deeply the theological and prudential processes that lead to such a conclusion. Such an oversight is an affront to the traditions of both pacifism and just war.
It’s worth noting, as does the author of the article, that a new “just peacemaking” paradigm, which attempts to marry pacifist and just-war perspectives using pragmatic techniques, is emerging under the leadership of Glenn Stassen of Fuller Seminary. Check out his books here and here.