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Jun 04, 2009


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Travis Greene

"He makes the case that Jesus’ examples are not life-threatening contexts."

I'd have to see how he makes that case. If the Roman-occupied Jews and early church weren't in life-threatening contexts, no one ever has been.

Michael W. Kruse

He wasn't referring to the general life context but the specific examples Jesus used ... For instance "If someone slaps you, then turn the other cheek." isn't "If someone comes at your with a butcher knife..." :-)

I think his primary point is that Jesus' was teaching an ethic of love for enemy that goes beyond the merely convenient, not setting up a rigid behavior code. I believe hyperbole was a frequent aspect of Jesus' teaching.

Travis Greene

Sure. But I don't think his ethic of nonviolence can't be dismissed (as some do) as hyperbole. If any people at any time had a legitimate case for just war, it was the people of Israel being oppressed by Rome. But Jesus rejected that route.

He also rejected separatism, which is a problem for certain forms of Anabaptism. But pacifism doesn't have to (and shouldn't) mean non-involvement.

Michael W. Kruse

It is legitimate and effective in many instances. But is it universally mandated? The other question is, Can we reason from the particulars of Jesus posture in his context to universal application. This goes back to the Niebuhr typology and the notion that different postures may be appropriate in different contexts.

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