War, Peace, and Violence: Four Christian Views, Edited by Paul Copan
War, Peace, and Violence: Four Christian Views
  • Length: 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: September 13, 2022
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: A0234
  • ISBN: 9781514002346

*affiliate partner

In a world of war, terrorism, and other geopolitical threats to global stability, how should committed Christians honor Jesus Christ and his Word? How should Christians think and act when it comes to church-state relations, the preservation of order, the practice of just peacemaking, and the use of coercive force?

In this volume in IVP Academic's Spectrum series, four contributors—experts in Christian ethics, political philosophy, and international affairs—offer the best of current Christian thinking on issues of war and peace. They present four distinct views:

  • Eric Patterson, just war view
  • Myles Werntz, nonviolence view
  • A. J. Nolte, Christian realist view
  • Meic Pearse, church historical view

Each contributor makes a case for his own view and responds to the others, highlighting complexities and real-world implications of the various perspectives. Edited and with an introduction and conclusion by the philosopher Paul Copan, this book provides a helpful orientation to the key positions today.

Spectrum Multiview Books offer a range of viewpoints on contested topics within Christianity, giving contributors the opportunity to present their position and also respond to others in this dynamic publishing format.

"In this important new update to the debate on power and the Christian life, a generous but sharp-minded dialogue between top scholars will help the confused and the curious understand what's at stake in the means and the aims of just and unjust peace. For both the initiate and the expert, here is a model in tone and a rigor in content that will leave you wishing for more."

Robert J. Joustra, associate professor of politics and international studies at Redeemer University

"Key to understanding one's own views on a subject is the requirement that one charitably considers legitimate alternatives. These four authors reliably map the terrain on war, peace, and violence in a way that will help readers sort out their own views on these perennial topics. Alas, given the tragic state of our fallen world, this is a much-needed volume."

C. Ben Mitchell, Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy at Union University

"In War, Peace, and Violence, Paul Copan assembles a sample of scholars committed to robust defenses of divergent views on the believer's right response to a fallen and violent world. Remarkably, in an age of polarized vitriol, the four authors—representing not only competing Christian traditions but also quite distinct disciplines—demonstrate in their arguments rigor and charity in equal measure. What results is an excellent primer on the current state of a long intrafaith debate over how to hold together our faith and the competing interests shaping the interstate system."

Joshua Hastey, assistant professor in the Robertson School of Government at Regent University and fleet professor of strategy for the US Naval War College

"War, Peace and Violence: Four Christian Views is a very helpful survey of the key positions in this still very relevant subject. The contributors represent their views clearly and well, and the counterarguments are done with respect for the positions with which each disagrees. I highly recommend this for anyone interested in how to think well about war and peace from within a distinctively Christian worldview."

Scott Rae, professor of Christian ethics at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University

"Like a thorn in the flesh of our conscience, war demands our attention. Reflection on war reveals the inadequacy of simplistic thinking and unsettles easy assumptions about the correspondence between theology and moral life. Thinking particularly of our nation's warfighters and especially in light of our deepening understanding of moral injury—crippling degrees of shame or remorse born of believing you have done evil—it is critical that Christians think rightly about war. The four viewpoints in this book—sometimes overlapping yet distinct in essential ways—offer a crucial overview of the best of Christian thought on war and peace."

Marc LiVecche, McDonald Distinguished Scholar in Ethics, War, and Public Life at Christ Church, Oxford University, and executive editor of Providence: A Journal of Christianity & American Foreign Policy

Read an Excerpt


Introduction Paul Copan

Part 1. A Just War View: Christian Approaches to War, Peace, and Security Eric Patterson
A Nonviolence Response Myles Werntz
A Christian Realist Response A. J. Nolte
A Church Historical Response Meic Pearse
Just War Rejoinder Eric Patterson

Part 2. A Nonviolence View: Christian Pacifism Myles Werntz
A Just War Response Eric Patterson
A Christian Realist Response A. J. Nolte
A Church Historical Response Meic Pearse
Nonviolence Rejoinder Myles Werntz

Part 3. A Christian Realist View: Necessary War and "Dirty Hands" A. J. Nolte
A Just War Response Eric Patterson
A Nonviolence Response Myles Werntz
A Church Historical Response Meic Pearse
Christian Realist Rejoinder A. J. Nolte

Part 4. A Church Historical View: War as Radical Evil Meic Pearse
A Just War Response Eric Patterson
A Nonviolence Response Myles Werntz
A Christian Realist Response A. J. Nolte
Church Historical Rejoinder Meic Pearse

Concluding Remarks Paul Copan

Name Index
Subject Index
Scripture Index


You May Also Like

Paul Copan

Paul Copan (PhD, Marquette University) is the Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics at Palm Beach Atlantic University. His books include The Gospel in the Marketplace of Ideas, An Introduction to Biblical Ethics, Did God Really Command Genocide?, and Holy War in the Bible.