Christian Ethics

Early Church
“The Early Church on War and Killing” (Books & Culture, January-February 2016): A Response

On the complex moral issue of war, one might expect to find a diversity of views in the history of Christian thought. Ron Sider disagrees. He’s wrong.

Just War Against Islamic State ISIS
What a Just War Against the Islamic State Looks Like

Just war aims at peace. As Augustine argued, “Every man seeks peace by waging war, but no man seeks war by making peace.” We do not fight war for its own sake, or for revenge, profit, or prestige. The only conceivable rationale for waging war is to create a world of better, deeper, more lasting peace than the one that led to war in the first place.

Roman Forum
The Origins of Government

Historically, Christians have talked about the fall of Adam in conjunction with the origins of government.

Prayer Candles
A Holiday Prayer Challenge for World Peace

Religions, particularly the Christian faith that animated so much of US history, typically tell their adherents to pray for peace. A consortium of faith groups, under the umbrella “Evangelicals for Peace” has launched a thoughtful new year prayer initiative that anyone can participate in.

Augustine of Hippo by Sandro Botticelli
Christian Ethics & the Realm of Statecraft: Divisions, Cross-Currents, & the Search for Connections

In what follows I will first lay out some of the most important obstacles, the challenges they pose, their respective weaknesses, and some thoughts on opportunities they offer; then I will offer some thoughts on how best to bring Christianity into engagement with American foreign policy.

The Peace Negotiations Between Claudius Civilis and the Roman Captain Cerealis by Otto van Veen, 1600-1613
Shield & Sword: The Case for Military Deterrence

Some lament the fact that we live in such a violent world, but that’s precisely the point. Because we live in a violent world, governments must take steps to deter those who can be deterred—and neutralize those who cannot.

Christian Realism
Christian Realism & U.S. Foreign Policy

Reinhold Niebuhr exposed the assumptions of progressive Christianity and helped create the political theology of “Christian realism”, which sought a more biblical view of how the Christian citizen can live responsibly within a civilization in crisis.

Training for War
A Call To Arms: An American Survey of War in the 21st Century

Since my commissioning in 1988 as a United States Army Chaplain Candidate, the fundamental purpose of war has changed relatively little: war generally remains a contest of wills to achieve political ends between nation-states employing military force. However, war inherently seems different today, does it not? How so?