Monday, 9 October 2006

Eberhard Jüngel on peace war

“Can the church ... insist that every use of military force is against God’s will and therefore that even the threat of military force, institutionalised in the form of armies, is also to be condemned absolutely? ... Only by describing every war as an offence against God’s gracious and – precisely in its graciousness – holy will, can the church formulate the urgent demand on all states worldwide to condemn solemnly and together the mere threat of military force.... The institution of war can only be abolished if the institution of the potential for war is abolished....

“[I]t is important to ask whether the church can credibly proclaim the Gospel, the glorification of those who make peace, without at the same time rejecting every threat and use of military force. And how can it do this more convincingly than by working for the laying aside of weapons not only by Christians, but by all people around the world? ... [T]he question forces itself inexorably on the church, whether the time has not come in which Christians can only be credible witnesses to Jesus Christ as conscientious objectors.”

—Eberhard Jüngel, Christ, Justice and Peace: Toward a Theology of the State in Dialogue with the Barmen Declaration (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1992), pp. 84-92.

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