Christian Non-Resistance

by Luke Muehlhauser on June 14, 2009 in Christian Theology,News

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I just finished recording an audiobook of Christian Non-Resistance, In All Its Important Bearings, Illustrated and Defended (1848) by Adin Ballou for Librivox. You can download the audiobook here.

It was an interesting read, and I hope it is a pleasant listen.

Ballou defends nonviolence with arguments from the Bible and from the nature of man, and claims that strict nonviolence is certainly the method of Jesus Christ himself and that the church has always been in error when it has acted violently. Though I think some of Ballou’s arguments are typical theological contortions, I tend to agree that the picture of Jesus presented in the gospels is generally nonviolent. If only we could live in a world dominated by Christian Christianity rather than Constantinian Christianity!

Those interested in nonviolent Christianity should listen to my my interview with Mark van Steenwyk, leader of a nonviolent Christian community in Minnesota.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Scott June 14, 2009 at 2:17 pm

As someone with a menno backround, I lean toward the non violent sort of thing. I would suggest checking out http://www.tenthousandvillages.com/
I like them because even if you agree with their spiritual beliefs, they are all about helping people physically and not really preaching, at all.

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Scott June 14, 2009 at 2:18 pm

*sorry, that was suppose to say “don’t agree”

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mikespeir June 14, 2009 at 3:50 pm

Maybe we shouldn’t forget that Constantinian Christianity grew out of “Christian” Christianity.

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Lorkas June 14, 2009 at 5:52 pm

mikespeir: Maybe we shouldn’t forget that Constantinian Christianity grew out of “Christian” Christianity.

Just like a tumor grows out of mostly-healthy cells.

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Reginald Selkirk June 15, 2009 at 5:54 am

claims that strict nonviolence is certainly the method of Jesus Christ himself

There are a few temple moneychangers and a fig tree who might disagree with that.

Matt 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

To a lesser degree than the OT, one can still draw pretty much any message one wants from the NT.

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Reginald Selkirk June 15, 2009 at 5:55 am

mikespeir: grew out of “Christian” Christianity.

I think it’s debatable whether there ever was a “Christian” Christianity, as opposed to Paulism.
 

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Lorkas June 15, 2009 at 7:40 am

Reginald Selkirk: Matt 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

Hey, a prophecy that came true!

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mikespeir June 15, 2009 at 7:42 am

<blockquote>Just like a tumor grows out of mostly-healthy cells.</blockquote>
I don’t find that analogy compelling.  Tumors also grow out of cancer cells.  Furthermore, it’s a matter of faith to suggest the original tissue was healthy.  It’s entirely possible that the potential for “corrupt” Christianity is intrinsic to “good” Christianity.  After all, it’s hard to point to any brand of the religion that hasn’t abused temporal power once it gained it.

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mikespeir June 15, 2009 at 7:43 am

Okay.  Blockquotes don’t work here.  But you get it, I’m sure.

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Reginald Selkirk June 15, 2009 at 7:52 am

 

mikespeir: Okay.  Blockquotes don’t work here.  But you get it, I’m sure.

Blockquotes work, but you have to work to make them work. Hit the little “HTML” button to insert your own HTML code.

Quote me on that.

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mikespeir June 15, 2009 at 8:06 am

Hey, thanks.

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