Long Reach Toward Just Peacemaking: Fuller’s Theology, News and Notes

I want to commend to you the latest Fuller Theology News and Notes, a magazine that comes out bi-annually and is edited by a Fuller professor. This issue was edited by ethcist Glenn Stassen and is called the Long Reach Toward Just Peacemaking. The issue has a number of great Christian thinkers in it talking about practical ways to embody peace in the world. What’s Just Peacemaking? A kind of hybrid between Just-war and Pacifism, but still with the historic Christian refusal to war. Here are just peacemaking’s  ten practices taken from the introduction:

  1. Support nonviolent direct action. Based on Jesus’s way of transforming initiatives (Matt. 5:38–42). See James Burke’s article herein.
  2. Take independent initiatives (also Matt. 5:38-42). This is how George Bush Sr. and Mikhail Gorbachev disposed of half the nuclear weapons of America and Russia.
  3. Use cooperative conflict resolution (Matt. 5:21–26). This is how American President Jimmy Carter achieved peace in the Camp David accords between Egypt and Israel. See Paul Alexander’s article and www.matthew5project.org.
  4. Acknowledge responsibility for conflict and injustice and seek repentance and forgiveness. (Matt. 7:1–5). The Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa lanced festering historical injustices in this way.
  5. Advance human rights, religious liberty, and democracy. During the twentieth century, democracies with human rights fought no wars against one another.
  6. Foster just and sustainable economic development. See Bryant Myers’s article herein.
  7. Work with cooperative forces in the international system. Empirically, the more nations are involved in international organizations, communication, travel, missions, and international trade, the less they make war.
  8. Strengthen the United Nations and international efforts for cooperation and human rights. Empirically, nations more engaged in the UN avoid war more often. Unilateral policies cause more wars.
  9. Reduce offensive weapons and weapons trade (Matt. 26:52). This makes war less likely.
  10. Encourage grassroots peacemaking groups. Every Church a Peace Church (www.ecapc.org) has links to church peace fellowships.

Each of the essays builds on this in one way or another. I highly recommend reading Mennonite Scholar Kent Davis article An Abrahamic Paradigm for Just Peacemaking, Fuller psychology professor Cameron Lee’s Making Peace In Our Families, and Evelyne A. Reisacher’s, who does Islamic studies and intercultural relations at Fuller, Evangelical-Muslim Peacemaking: Drink Lots of Cups of Tea.