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The New Testament as a Peace Book

November 3, 2016

This is about as clear and compelling an explanation of Jesus’ core message of an alternative “kingdom” based on love and forgiveness, non-retaliation, as you will find. It also lays out the basis for non-support when earthly kingdoms call on citizens to use violence to retain their dominaton systems.

Peace Theology

Ted Grimsrud

[This is the second of two lectures in the Carol Grizzard-Browning Lecture Series at the University of Pikeville (Pikeville, Kentucky). It was presented November 12, 2013. The first lecture was “The Old Testament as a peace book” and may be found here.]

Let me start with a bold claim. The New Testament presents a political philosophy. This philosophy has at its core a commitment to pacifism (by pacifism I mean the conviction that no cause or value can override the commitment to treat each life as precious). This commitment is based on the belief that Jesus Christ as God Incarnate reveals the character of God and of God’s intention for human social life.

Jesus’s identity in the Gospel of Luke

In talking about the New Testament as a peace book, I will look first at how the gospels present Jesus. I will focus on the Gospel of…

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 5, 2016 2:16 am

    Thank you for sending this, Howard, it is the best thing I’ve read in a long time What surprises me is that it comes from a fundamentalist school.

    • November 5, 2016 11:40 am

      Glad you liked it. Eastern Mennonite U. is (obviously) Mennonite. I don’t follow them closely but my mother was Mennonite in her youth, with all her family, and I have had friends, etc. I know that they have some of the greater extremes within their 2 or 3 major groupings. Some pretty fundy, some very progressive. They “get along” only tenuously, last I knew, committed as they are to peace and conflict resolution.

      The author, Ted, is a good friend of many years back and is among the much more progressive. And he’s now actually retired… as of the summer. Even while there I know his teaching could not have been lumped with fundamentalism, or even properly with more moderate Evangelicalism. More on lines of “radical” Anabaptist, and strongly pacifist.

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