In any account that we might give of the Christian Church, we must honestly acknowledge its failures. There have been occasions – too many occasions – when it has accepted the world’s values and priorities, and accommodated itself to the prevailing culture, and rationalised its own unfaithfulness.
Among its most notable failings we must mention:-
Its approval and even glamorisation of the medieval Crusades, when European knights rode forth to recover the holy places from Islam by force.
I’ve been listening to another of Premier Radio’s Unbelievable podcasts.
This one featured a debate between atheist Ed Turner (a lawyer) and Christian Meic Pearse (a historian).
The focus of discussion was Pearse’s recent book The Gods of War(IVP 2007). His contention is that while religion can play a significant part in armed conflict, that point is often over-stated, and the main factors leading to warfare are cultural and economic.
The debate was, as is usual for this show, thoughtful and civilised. …
One of the most common and serious objections to Christian faith is that the Bible (especially the Old Testament) is ‘full’ of bloodshed that has been carried out in the name of, or even at the express command of, God.
I don’t want to offer glib answers to this objection. However, it may be useful to try to summarise, as briefly and as honestly as I can, what the Bible teaches about war.
1. War is repugnant to God, 1 Chron 22:8f; Psa 68:30; 120:6f; Isa 10:13ff; Amos 1:11, 13.…