The Gospel of Peace in a Violent World
"Blessed are the peacemakers."
The gospel of Jesus Christ is the good news of peace: peace between God and humanity, peace among humans. And yet it can be difficult to see that peace in our broken, violent world.
In this volume, Shawn Graves and Marlena Graves have gathered contributions from theologians, pastors, and practitioners on the importance and implementation of Christian nonviolence in today's world. The vision they cast not only responds to the realities of war and conflict but also offers a broader, deeper understanding of peace that addresses topics such as race, gender, disability, immigration, the environment, food scarcity, and more—a holistic shalom that is evidence of God's presence.
May it be so.
"All of creation groans in desperate longing for God's peace. As our planet awaits ultimate redemption, we have the prophetic voices collected in The Gospel of Peace in a Violent World to help us imagine what peace can feel like in the current time. Marlena Graves and Shawn Graves have gathered a cross section of experts who work in a variety of settings to help guide us in the way of peace that the Lord Jesus Christ both demonstrated and proclaimed."
"This is an excellent book. The authors challenge us to consider the many ways in which the gospel of God's kingdom, the gospel of peace, confronts the violence, injustice, and threats to shalom present in our world. At a time of great division, where we do violence not only through war but also through our words, deeds, and institutions, this book does more than merely show us a better way. It gives practical advice on how to live it out."
"As a faith-rooted community activist and organizer, I have lamented how little the church has done to educate Christians in either their rich theology of biblical justice and shalom or to equip them to appropriately engage deep injustices in our world. In The Gospel of Peace in a Violent World, the Graveses have assembled a diverse team of relevant, scholarly contributors who speak to this missing theology and praxis of Christian discipleship. With no-stone-left-unturned vigor, this important and essential resource grounds foundational and formational theological truth with timeless and recent historical application, practically compelling Christians toward seeking a more just and peaceful world."
"Nonviolence is often wrongly equated with passivity and inaction. As demonstrated by this diverse and provocative collection of essays, just peacemaking and nonviolent direct action are part of a rich Christian social justice tradition that is now more important than ever."
Introduction by Shawn Graves and Marlena Graves
Part I: Biblical Reflections
1. The Old Testament as a Problem for Pacifists (and What to Do About It), Eric A. Seibert
2. Shalom for All: Toward an Old Testament Theology of Peace, T. C. Ham
3. Pride Fighter or Sacrificial Lamb? Discerning the Real Jesus in the Book of Revelation, Gregory A. Boyd
4. "The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet!" Violence in the Gospel of Peace?, Thomas R. Yoder Neufeld
Part II: Learning from Others
5. A Pentagon for Peace: What America Could Learn from Its Oldest Enemy, Randy S. Woodley
6. Preachers, Prophets and Philosophers: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Moral Reasoning on Nonviolence, Aaron James
7. Listening for Peace: Nonviolence in William Stafford's Writing and Teaching, Sarah Azaransky
8. A Critical Realist Engagement with My Mentor Glen Stassen's Just Peacemaking Theory, David P. Gushee
9. Living Next Door to the Bronze Lady, Michael Jimenez
10. A Universal Love Ethic: Nonviolence and Human Rights Advocacy, Shawn Graves
Part III: War and Violence
11. War, Terror, and Peace, Lisa Sharon Harper
12. Christian Pacifism and the "Good War," Ted Grimsrud
13. Problematic Pacifism: Pursuing Biblical Justice Toward Effective Change, Mae Elise Cannon
14. Lights in the Darkness: Christian Peace Practice in the Violence of Central America, Willi Hugo Perez and Adrienne Wiebe
Part IV: Race, Gender, and Disability
15. Shalom and White Supremacy, Drew Hart
16. Healing from Racial Trauma, Sheila Wise Rowe
17. Faith-Rooted Reconciliation: Organizing for Shalom Justice, Peter Heltzel
18. Longing Forward: Peacemaking and Violence Toward Women and Girls, Beth Gerhardt
19. Disability, Identity, and the Resurrection of the Dead: Cultural Competency as Nonviolence, Chibuzo Petty
Part V: Immigration and Environment
20. Our Food System: The Tie to Immigration, Migrant Workers, Exploitation and Human Trafficking, Baldemar Velasquez
21. Immigration and the Church: Who is My Neighbor?, Marlena Graves
22. Everything, Nothing, Something: Trading in World-Viewing for Everyday Faithfulness in Peacemaking and Sustainability, Jacob Alan Cook
23. Environmental Violence, Kathy Khang
Conclusion: Practical Steps Toward Communal Flourishing
List of Contributors