How should Christians respond to war? This age-old question has become more pressing given Western governments' recent overseas military interventions and the rise of extremist Islamist jihadism. Grounded in conservative evangelical theology, this book argues the historic church position that it is inadmissible for Christians to use violence or take part in war. It shows how the church's propensity to support the “just wars,” crusades, rebellions, or “humanitarian interventions” of its host nations over time has been disastrous for the reputation of the gospel. Instead, the church's response to war is simply to be the church, by preaching the gospel and making peace in the love and power of God.
The book considers challenges to this argument for “gospel peace.” What about warfare in the Old Testament and military metaphors in the New? What of church history? And how do we deal with tyrants like Hitler and terrorists like Islamic State? Charting a path between just war theory and liberal pacifism, numerous inspiring examples from the worldwide church are used to demonstrate effective and authentically Christian responses to violence. The author argues that as Christians increasingly drop their unbiblical addiction to war, we may be entering one of the most exciting periods of church history.