Kingdom of God

Blessed Are the Peacemakers - Sermon on the Mount - War
Blessed are the Peacemakers

Force is always only the form love takes against terrible evil in the last resort when nothing else will protect the innocent, restore justice, and bring about the conditions for peace. The old Chestertonian nugget remains: “The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.”

Christian Contrition and Action: Society and the Keys to Peace
Christian Contrition and Action: Society and the Keys to Peace

In this article, originally published in Christianity and Crisis on April 19, 1943, F. Ernest Johnson illuminates the twin wartime concerns of brutality and cynicism. Johnson illustrates the importance of maintaining public morality; losing compassion for the enemy will scuttle the peace and instigate the next war, while ignoring social influence in determining personal ethics invariably corrodes society on a more insidious level. To paraphrase John 17: 14-19, we must be in the world, but not of it.

Can Evil Always Be Overcome With Good?
Can Evil Always Be Overcome With Good?

Foretelling a time of cultivation, Isaiah prophesies, “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.” One cannot plow a field with a sword, nor prune a tree with a spear. In this article, originally published in Christianity and Crisis on March 8, 1943, John Knox contrasts the promotion of good with the destruction of evil, particularly in conflict. Promoting good is insufficient; the conduct of war and the creation of peace are distinct phenomena to be pursued with discrete tools.

Why the League Failed
Why the League Failed: 13 Crippling Shortcomings

The much-maligned League of Nations experienced difficulties and shortcomings, which are visible in the functioning of the modern UN – and to a lesser extent, the International Criminal Court. George Stewart provides no less than thirteen reasons for the League’s failure, foremost among them the United States’ refusal to join, despite President Wilson’s labors as the prime architect. Stewart’s criticism of the League’s weaknesses, in its simultaneous impotence and incompetence, serves as a reminder for the need of robust, yet practical, international structures.

The Christian Church in the Latter Half of the Twentieth Century
The Christian Church in the Latter Half of the Twentieth Century

Francis P. Miller claims the church cannot stand by and optimistically assume that the state will pursue justice without the assistance of a religious ethic.

The Spirit and the Body in War
The Spirit and the Body in War

This article about the tools necessary to defeat Nazi Germany and the Axis Powers was originally published in Christianity and Crisis on August 10, 1942.  Examining the relationship between ideals and power throughout history, editor Reinhold Niebuhr argues the importance of discerning and then actualizing, the Allied Powers’ potential power. Conversely, he advocates against succumbing to the belief that Nazi defeat is inevitable.

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