What does Jesus have to say about violence, just war, and killing? Does Jesus ever want his disciples to kill in order to resist evil and promote peace and justice?
This book by noted theologian and bestselling author Ronald J. Sider provides a career capstone statement on biblical peacemaking. Sider makes a strong case for the view that Jesus calls his disciples to love, and never kill, their enemies. He explains that there are never only two options: to kill or to do nothing in the face of tyranny and brutality. There is always a third possibility: vigorous, nonviolent resistance. If we believe that Jesus is Lord, then we disobey him when we set aside what he taught about killing and ignore his command to love our enemies.
This thorough, comprehensive treatment of a topic of perennial concern vigorously engages with the just war tradition and issues a challenge to all Christians, especially evangelicals, to engage in biblical peacemaking. The book includes a foreword by Stanley Hauerwas.
‘Jesus intended that his followers should never kill anyone!’ After you read If Jesus Is Lord, you will be able to reject this claim as unworkable in the real world, but you will not be able to dispute it. This compelling and challenging volume is the lifework of an impressive Christian ‘resistance pacifist’!
—Miroslav Volf, Yale Divinity School, director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture, and author of For the Life of the World: Theology That Makes a Difference
Ron Sider is a rare bird among biblical interpreters: he combines well-grounded scholarly attentiveness with a lively, practical passion for a world of just peace. He has, moreover, been at it for a long, grace-filled lifetime. It is no surprise then that this book comes at just the right moment for us. It is a moment in which American Christians, across the theological spectrum, are recognizing that our widely shared historical accommodation to cultural religion is a shameful failure and that we must return to Jesus’s radical core claims. Sider’s exposition of transformative pacifism is based on the cruciality of Jesus, his teaching, and the witness of his life. Many Christians will want to take a deep (spirit-filled!) breath with this book and embrace new resolve about being faithfully present in the world alongside Jesus. Our long-term debt to Sider is deep and beyond calculation. This book is a summons to discipleship in a way that matters.
—Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary
Over and over lone voices, the most significant being Ron Sider’s, have been calling Christians to think again, probe more deeply, and become more faithful to the paradigm of the cross. But that cross emerged from the teachings and life of Jesus. From Jesus’s opening sermon in Nazareth to the cross there is a consistent vision—pacifist to the core—that needs to become our vision all over again. A consistent follower of Jesus is a pacifist, and Ron Sider has demonstrated this one more time. I have been reading Sider for forty years, and this is his best case yet.
—Scot McKnight, Julius R. Mantey Professor of New Testament, Northern Seminary
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.