A majority of Christians in the developed nations feel comfortable with a military Jesus as found in a number of passages of scripture, but there is another side to this ambiguity.
This chapter looks at one side of the Bible’s ambiguity where we see a church in which many first-world Christians of our day could feel comfortable and undisturbed: a church that lives without question or resistance in a state founded on violence and made prosperous by the exploitation of less fortunate nations.
The modern church may be undisturbed by its comfort with a state founded on violence, yet the early church did not wage war but waged peace and was thus a subversive community within the Roman Empire and was persecuted for that stance.
There is remaining ambiguity in the Book of Revelations, but it expresses the faith that sustained the church in its faithfulness to Jesus’ teaching.
The author admits the ambiguity of the biblical picture of Jesus as being real, but for him, it is impossible to conceive of Jesus as approving the horrors of modern war.
Jesus was the progeny of a people who were continually at war and who never seemed to question its necessity. They saw their God as deeply involved in it.
Dr. Winn believes that war in any form is cruel, barbarous and deadly, and we cannot say with God the end justifies the means when we know it does not work out that way with humans.
The word shalom has a far wider mean than the word “peace.” The author describes those many meanings of shalom in this chapter.
There is ambiguity regarding war and peace in the prophets of the Old Testament, but they give a high value on shalom, and Yahweh is the Giver of that shalom.
The Old Testament prophets aided the kings and their wars and predicted that Yahweh would use war to punish and assert moral authority. In this chapter the author states that although predictions of war far outnumber predictions of peace, these references are not the last word.