Thursday, April 22, 2010

2 yoder quotes

I think these sum up the core of what I got out of The Politics of Jesus:

Certainly any renunciation of violence is preferable to its acceptance; but what Jesus renounced is not first of all violence, but rather the compulsiveness of purpose that leads the strong to violate the dignity of others. The point is not that one can attain all of one's legitimate ends without using violent means. It is rather that our readiness to renounce our legitimate ends whenever they cannot be attained by legitimate means itself constitutes our participation in the triumphant suffering of the lamb (p. 237).


If what we have said about the honour due to the Lamb makes any sense, then what is usually called "Christian Pacifism" is most adequately understood not on the level of means alone, as if the pacifist were making the claim that he can achieve what war promises to achieve, but do it just as well or even better without violence. This is one kind of pacifism, which in some contexts may be clearly able to prove its point, but not necessarily always. That christian pacifism which has a theological basis in the character of God and the work of Jesus Christ is one in which the calculating link between our obedience and ultimate efficacy has been broken, since the triumph of God comes through resurrection and not through effective sovereignty or assured survival (p. 239).

It has given me a huge amount to think about, which is always welcome. And fits closely with a thought I had after reading Tom Wright's Surprised by Hope, which was that the resurrection demands a complete renunciation of all war, all violence.

Is there a really great pacifist film out there?

Micmacs from Screening Media on Vimeo.

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