My estimate is that Peace Theology has been developing for around 70 years. I’m an Anabaptist-Mennonite and as one of the historical peace churches we found an infant version of its current form and it has been slowly maturing ever since. We have been reading it in our bibles for a very long time. Now it seems like there is a global movement towards peace churches, questions of responding to systematic injustice or war and how can the church look more like Jesus? Lets get into it. Here’s my best intro to Peace Theology for everyone out there who is looking for answers to these kinds of questions.
As I know God more and study Christian and Hebrew scripture I have discovered peace as a major theme in scripture. Thankfully I’ve been in good company with thinkers like Walter Brueggemann and Christopher JH Wright and I continue to study these Christian leaders who understand God’s mission and the bible’s witness this way.
My Two Part Peace Theology Framework
1. The mission of God is about the reconciliation of all things (2 Corinthians 5:11-21). John Perkins said, “A Gospel that does not reconcile is not a Christian Gospel at all.” All relationships are being restored and God is working with human beings to restore the Shalom (biblical peace) that earth was designed for and humans experienced (Genesis 1-2) before we rebelled against God (Genesis 3-11). Biblical Peace is Harmony with God, self, others and all of creation. This was the state of the garden created “Very Good!” (Genesis 1:31) but broken and waiting to be restored by the creator and his creation who are instructed to continue to take care of the garden (earth) we once broke. In Jesus’ life, teachings, death and resurrection we have been fully restored, and invited into God’s family as children and a coworkers with Jesus Christ in the healing of all creation.
2. Christians, people who choose to follow Jesus, are called to live lives of service to the world that is exemplified by self-sacrifice, non-violence, forgiveness and the pursuit of justice as God’s spirit transforms us and guides us every day. This is highlighted in Paul’s teaching in (Phil 2:1-11) and in Jesus teaching to his first 12 disciples when they were fighting about power in (Mark 10:35-45).
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