Thursday, December 31, 2015

The early church on military service

Great post on the early Christian view on war over at Christianity Today's Books and Culture section. Read the whole thing, but here's a brief summary:
Indeed, there is very little basis in the texts for describing the early Christian view as "divided and ambiguous." There are no authors who argue that killing or joining the military is permissible for Christians. On these questions, every writer who mentions the subject takes essentially the same position. Some pre-Constantinian Christian writers say more about these topics than others. Some do not discuss them at all. But to conclude from this relative silence or paucity of some surviving texts that other writers disagreed with the extant texts would be sheer speculation. The texts we have do not reflect any substantial disagreement. Every extant Christian statement on killing and war up until the time of Constantine says Christians must not kill, even in war.
I need to get that book The Early Church on Killing: A Comprehensive Sourcebook on War, Abortion, and Capital Punishment.
The Early Church on Killing

HT: Jim Eisenbraun

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