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Resources for Thinking Through a Biblical Vision of Just War

In my sermon for our Hot Topics series, I tried to provide a balanced and biblical vision for just war. I pulled from a lot of resources to prepare for that sermon—many more than the two books that a few lucky members received that morning—and I’d like to provide those resources here at the CHBC blog for anyone who wants to dig deeper.

Free Resources to Learn More about Just War

Just War and Christian Discipleship, by Daniel Bell. In this talk given at Wheaton College in 2015, Daniel Bell explains the connection between the Christian just war tradition, and the building of the character of church members. He distinguishes between just war theory as public policy and just war tradition as Christian discipleship.

It’s Just War: Should Christians Fight? This video is a debate between two Christian scholars who are just war advocates, and two Christian scholars who subscribe to the biblical nonresistance position. This video will help the viewer to understand both views, as well as the presuppositions underlying those views.

Bruce Ashford’s blog posts on just war. Bruch Ashford is on faculty at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. He is currently researching for a book on Christian just war tradition (he tweeted this pic of a stack of books he was reading), and has posted several articles on the topic at his blog.

Joe Carter’s articles on just war at ERLC (part 1part 2part 3part 4part 5). Joe Carter (editor for The Gospel Coalition) wrote a five-article series on just war for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission’s website. This series covers justice before, during, and after war; confronting terrorism; and nuclear weapons.

Three Books on Just War

The two books I passed out were War, Peace, and Christianity: Questions and Answers from a Just-War Perspectiveand The Just War Tradition: An Introduction. The first book is formatted in a FAQ sort of way, covering a wide range of categories and problems. The second is a historical study, tracing the development of the Christian just war tradition chronologically by highlighting the important contributions that major theologians of made throughout the centuries.

A third book that was helpful to me is Daniel Bell’s Just War as Christian Discipleship: Reentering the Tradition in the Church rather than the State.This book goes into much more detail on his distinction between just war theory vs. just war tradition.

I hope you find these resources helpful!