Faith and Force: A Christian Debate about War


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Hitchens said religion should be opposed because of its "radical frontal attack on human dignity" in presuming that humans would not otherwise know the difference between right and wrong. He described evangelising as "a sign of intellectual and moral weakness". Terms and Conditions.

Faith and Force: A Christian Debate about War

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Thursday 26 September Tony Blair debates faith with writer Christopher Hitchens Tony Blair was due to make the most extensive comments of his career on Friday regarding his personal Christian faith in a public debate in Toronto with the atheist writer Christopher Hitchens. By Toby Harnden in Washington.

Related Articles. In Religion. But the larger argument—that we can live as if war has been abolished and that faith in God requires that we live that way—is morally unconvincing and at times morally perverse. This requires a relentless effort to overcome natural death, since human mortality is the stark and unavoidable reminder that we are not the ultimate authors of our own story. These two errors become one error: American patriotism becomes a false form of Christian piety, and killing for the nation becomes a dark and devilish project of killing for God.

In peace, they lose themselves in the trivializing seductions of the market.

But this is not enough. September 11 came at just the right time, giving us a moral purpose: a blood sacrifice that renews and sustains what it means to be an American.

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For Hauerwas, there is no such thing as a just war, since Christ is the embodiment of justice, and the revelation of Christ is that men should not and need not kill the other we are called to love. He believes the tragic necessity of war is an illusion. As Hauerwas writes, in what is probably the clearest and most powerful statement of his theology of nonwar:. In the end, my biggest problem with the book—and the particular Christian eschatological vision that underlies it—is that Hauerwas never tries to imagine what real life would look like if we adopted his ethic.

He describes powerfully and realistically the horrible realities of war. But he makes no effort to envision what history would become if sane states and sane leaders loved their enemies unto death, leaving the world to concentration camps and suicide bombings, to well-armed and deluded men who would kill our children and make us all slaves of their power within history.

If Hauerwas is the realist he claims to be, let him at least be realistic and honest about what will likely happen if love is our only weapon against those who believe that sending young girls to the gas chamber is rational or that nuclear war against Israel might bring about the new reign of God on earth. And perhaps Hauerwas is the truer interpreter of what the Christian gospels really teach—I hope that he is not, but I a Jew and surely no theologian am in no position to judge. And most Christians I know are not mad; indeed, they are, in general, the best hope for preserving a decent, God-seeking, free society in the face of the politics of death, desperation, and domination.

He is too smart for that.

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The Sacrifices of War by Eric Cohen | Articles | First Things

But either he believes that loving them combined with our unilateral disarmament would change them or that dying under their sword would be the only right way to live. Close Login.

Web Exclusives First Thoughts. Intellectual Retreats Erasmus Lectures. Video Podcasts. As Hauerwas writes, in what is probably the clearest and most powerful statement of his theology of nonwar: We are fated to kill and be killed because we know no other way to live, but through the forgiveness made possible by the cross of Jesus we are no longer condemned to kill.


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A people have been created who refuse to resort to the sword, that they and those they love might survive.

Faith and Force: A Christian Debate about War Faith and Force: A Christian Debate about War
Faith and Force: A Christian Debate about War Faith and Force: A Christian Debate about War
Faith and Force: A Christian Debate about War Faith and Force: A Christian Debate about War
Faith and Force: A Christian Debate about War Faith and Force: A Christian Debate about War
Faith and Force: A Christian Debate about War Faith and Force: A Christian Debate about War
Faith and Force: A Christian Debate about War Faith and Force: A Christian Debate about War

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