Following up my previous article on the meaning of resurrection, and picking up on the fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq, I have penned this piece (Ekklesia, 21 Mar 08) on Why the church needs a new foreign policy.
"Contrary to some popular Christian teaching, the way of the Cross is not marked by the justified infliction of violence, but its absorption and transformation in the person of Jesus, who is God's person for us. Likewise, the Gospel's anticipated vindication is not apocalyptic fury but the life-giving of God alone, which is called resurrection.
"In reality, this is as difficult, if not more difficult, for Christians to believe in practice (in the way we live our lives) as it is for anyone to believe in theory (as a matter of intellectual debate).
"The way of the sword, by contrast, looks like the kind of 'realism' we need when faced with terror, threat and injustice. But realism of what kind? The issue as to whether and how the God of eternal peace features in our picture of what finally constitutes reality becomes crucial at this point. Religious leaders often seem unable to contemplate that possibility as they make their calculations, showing by default that whatever is being believed in, it is not, it seems, the 'weak power' of the crucified and risen one.
"Inviting others to accept a gospel which does not seriously change our options or put into question the destruction upon which we base our security is, it seems to me, more than a little problematic." Full article here.