With nearly 200,000 American troops in Iraq and terrorist threats elsewhere, perhaps it's time Christians looked more carefully at the historic teaching of the church. Discusses what constitutes a just intervention and how it should be handled versus dubious ventures in which the ends simply justify the means. 216 pages, softcover. InterVarsity.
Pacifism. Jihad. Militarism. Are these our only alternatives for dealing with global injustice today? J. Daryl Charles leads us to reconsider a Christian view of the use of force to maintain or reestablish justice. He shows how love for a neighbor can warrant the just use of force. Reviewing and updating the widely recognized but not necessarily well-understood just-war teaching of the church through the ages, Charles shows how it captures many of the concerns of the pacifist position while deliberately avoiding, on the other side, the excesses of jihad and militarism. Aware of our contemporary global situation, Charles addresses the unique challenges of dealing with international terrorism.
J. Daryl Charles (Ph.D., Westminster Theological Seminary) is director and senior fellow of the Bryan Institute for Critical Thought Practice, Bryan College, and served as the 2007-1008 William E. Simon Visiting Fellow in Religion Public Life, James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Department of Politics, of Princeton University. He is the co-author (with David D. Corey) of and (with David B. Capes) of and the author of . The translator of by Claus Westermann, he serves on the editorial advisory boards of the journals and , and is contributing editor of the journal .
"Contemporary Christians tend to approach questions about the proper use of force in international relations naively, as though no one had reflected about them until our own time. In a fallen world, such ignorance is not only intellectually inexcusable but an invitation to moral disaster. Between Pacifism and Jihad is an excellent resource for evangelicals who desire to reacquaint themselves with the 'consensus' tradition on the ethics of justified war."
"In this erudite, timely and helpful book, Daryl Charles surveys the landscape of just-war thinking, past and present, and helps us to understand why war should not be severed from ethical considerations and constraints. His book is a wonderful introduction to just war as well as a major contribution to the contemporary debate."
"Few people are reconsidering the just-war theory in light of the threat of radical Islam. Fewer still are doing it with the biblical insight, historical depth and careful moral analysis of J. Daryl Charles. An indispensable book in our age of terror."
"This is an important book. Daryl Charles helpfully surveys Christian perspectives, past and present, on the issues of war and peace. Then he offers some wise counsel about how we are to reappropriate just-war theory for the unprecedented challenges of our own day. And best of all he shows us why all of this requires careful theological reflection."
"Here is an intelligent, articulate presentation of just-war thinking by a leading evangelical scholar. The lure of pacifism and the call to holy war have both found their champions in the Christian tradition. Daryl Charles draws on the wisdom of Niebuhr, Ramsey, Elshtain and others to present a mediating position: the sanction of force by the state as a means of justice bearing peace. An important evangelical engagement with this debate."
"Daryl Charles has read widely and thought carefully about the role of government and the place of warfare in Christian thought. Arguing for a view that neither baptizes force whenever it is used for patriotic purposes nor rejects force when it is needed to serve just ends, Charles provides both helpful historical background and probing moral argument. Christians who want to reflect more carefully about these matters will find here a valuable resource."
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