Category  |  war

a world at peace

My friends and I once interviewed believers of the four major religions practiced in Singapore to find out their teaching on Utopia. This topic intrigued us, for we knew that all people live in an imperfect world.

Christmas accusation

Few things seem more out of place than the appalling account of Herod’s slaughter of the innocents (Matthew 2:16). Why would a loving God permit a tyrant’s massacre of children to stain the beauty and poignancy of the Christmas story?

Matthew recounts in stark simplicity: “[Herod] sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two…

March 21, 2011

With a new battle raging in Libya, consider these words from Augustine: “War should be waged reluctantly and with tears in one’s eyes.” When is war justified?

wanting justice

Evil is everywhere. Last year, not far from where I was living, 57 civilians were massacred by political rivals. Many of these people weren’t simply killed. It was brutal. Deep in my heart, I must confess that there was a personal cry for justice—I wanted God to severely punish the perpetrators.

The whole point of the book of Jonah is…

love your enemies

I may not love God as I should, but I’m determined to get a handle on it. I may not love my family the way I should, but I intend to work at it. I may not love my neighbor as I should—but I’ll keep trying. But love my enemy? Wow. That seems impossible!

Here’s why it’s so difficult. Enemies scheme,…

August 23, 2010

Why is it so important to be part of a local church?

the walls come tumbling down

If you perform a Google search for the Rwandan genocide, you’ll encounter thousands of disturbing stories and graphic images. The most disturbing emerge from a church building in Nyarubuye, where between five and ten thousand Tutsis were murdered. The visual depiction of such gruesome violence in the one place where the victims thought they would be safe is horrific. BBC…

the evil of inertia

The Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, supplies a stark reminder of how evil humans can be. I was stunned by the hall of shoes that had once been worn by doomed Jews; the story of the methodical elimination of innocents in Krakow’s Jewish Ghetto; and the grisly death of prisoners in Hitler’s concentration camps.

But most chilling was my recognition…

holding it together

From autumn of 2008 through April 2009, the country of South Africa was run by temporary or acting officials. When President Thabo Mbeki quit, after being accused of interfering in a court case, an acting president was elected along with an acting deputy. So the president and deputy were temporary, as well as the national police commissioner, national prosecutor, port…

fear at Christmas

A glance through the headlines sets off a warning siren in our collective soul. One country, reeling from years of civil war, reports more than 2,000 civilians killed in 2 months. No tribe, no nation, no people-group is free from the threat of violence.

It’s a tired tune we’ve heard down through the ages. More than 700 years before Christ,…

a mighty fortress

You might know of Martin Luther as the father of the Reformation and that he translated the whole Bible into German. But what is less known is that Luther was also a composer of 37 hymns. His best-known hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” is also called “The Battle Hymn of the Reformation.” There are at least 70 different…

the Lord is king

The systems of our world are appearing more and more vulnerable. Mortgage and bank crises have undercut consumer confidence. Terrorist attacks around the world have sparked new fears. Corrupt politicians and religious leaders have continued to breed cynicism. And the struggling economy around the globe has caused many to become fearful and stressed. These feelings of vulnerability and doubt have…

rejoice!

Throughout Africa, from Sierra Leone to Uganda, rebel leaders have abducted hundreds of thousands of innocent boys and girls and converted them into soldiers. Forced to commit unspeakable crimes and murderous acts, often against their own relatives, these child soldiers are seldom able to forgive themselves or to reenter society after the rare event of being freed from their conscripted…

dying for life

"Some men can't be bullied or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn."  —Alfred the Butler

Those words, from last summer's mega-blockbuster movie The Dark Knight speak of motive. Like me, you may wonder what motivates real terrorists to strap on explosives and self-detonate—blowing up others in acts of terrorism that some call martyrdom.

The writer of…

rated R for violence

The youth group was shocked at their leader's claim: "The Bible is full of R-rated stories." "Really? Where?" they asked. "I'm not telling you," he said.

It's true. The Bible is rife with sordid stuff. In fact, God told Israel to "completely destroy" the inhabitants of the Promised Land and take their place in Canaan (Deuteronomy 20:17-18). Why? Because of…