A Note on War and Pacifism

By P. Andrew Sandlin
November 19, 2001

The recent exchange appearing on the Chalcedon site (and related private e-mail) on the topic of the Unites States' proper Biblical response to the 9-11 attacks highlights the multiplicity of opinions by those who hold the Bible in the highest regard and wish to apply it faithfully in our world. No participant questions the authority of the Bible; the only dispute is in how to apply it in this instance.

The very process of argumentation (and this certainly has been an argument) fosters a greater understanding of how we should in fact apply the Bible. Iron sharpens iron, the Bible tells us. None of us enjoys an infallible knowledge of the Bible. It is the Bible, not our understanding or theology, that is infallible. Listening to and interacting with those who join us in holding the Bible in the highest regard but who disagree with our application of it helps us understand the Bible -- and ourselves — better.

Chalcedon does not claim to have all the answers. But we do claim to know the One Who does have all the answers.

Wrestling with how to apply His Word in concrete historical circumstances -- like the present crisis -- is what fidelity to the Faith is all about.

This, by God's grace, is what Chalcedon will continue to do.

P. Andrew Sandlin

P. Andrew Sandlin is a Christian minister, theologian, and author.  He is the founder and president of the Center for Cultural Leadership in Coulterville, California.  He was formerly president of the National Reform Association and executive vice president of the Chalcedon Foundation.  He is a minister in the Fellowship of Mere Christianity.. He was formerly a pastor at Church of the Word in Painesville, Ohio (1984-1995) and Cornerstone Bible Church in Scotts Valley, California (2004-2014).

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