In late July I did a seminar at New Horizon on ‘Jesus and violence’. Here are the ‘starters for 10’ used on the day. I really enjoyed the interaction and discussion in a packed (and very hot) room.
And really enjoyed meeting Rikk Watts and his wife Katie and listening to his excellent Bible reading on Friday morning. Very encouraging to see loads of teenagers and young adults there.
Much to keep reflecting on, especially from reading Yoder’s War of the Lamb.
THESIS 1: THE USE OF ‘JUST VIOLENCE’ HAS BEEN, SINCE CONSTANTINE, THE MAJORITY POSITION OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH
THESIS 2: VERSIONS OF ‘JUST WAR’ HAVE UNDERPINNED CENTURIES OF VIOLENCE IN IRELAND
THESIS 3: JESUS CALLS HIS DISCIPLES TO FORSAKE VIOLENCE AND EMBRACE A LIFE OF RADICAL OBEDIENCE WITHIN THE KINGDOM OF GOD
THESIS 4: VARIOUS HERMENEUTICAL OBJECTIONS TO JESUS’ TEACHING IN MT 5 ON RADICAL NON-VIOLENCE FAIL TO PERSUADE
THESIS 5: THE REST OF THE NEW TESTAMENT CONFIRMS JESUS’ TEACHING ON NON-VIOLENCE
THESIS 6: IN REGARD TO VIOLENCE IN THE OT, THE BIBLE NEEDS TO BE READ AS ONE UNFOLDING NARRATIVE THAT CLIMAXES IN THE LIFE, DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS
THESIS 7: EARLY CHURCH HISTORY IS COMPELLING IN ITS WITNESS TO NON-VIOLENCE
THESIS 8: ACTIVE NON-VIOLENT WITNESS IS NOT EQUAL TO SUPINE PASSIVITY
THESIS 9: CHRISTIAN ‘JUST WAR’ PRACTICE IS FATALLY FLAWED
THESIS 10: PRACTICING ACTIVE NON-VIOLENCE REFLECTS THE UPSIDE-DOWN, SURPRISING, COUNTER-CULTURAL AND SELF-GIVING WAY OF JESUS – AND IS A POWERFUL FORETASTE OF AN ALTERNATIVE COMMUNITY LIFE WITHIN THE KINGDOM OF GOD