Quakers and The Lamb's War: A Hermeneutic
for Confronting Evil
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Quakers and The Lamb's War: A Hermeneutic for Confronting Evil
International Historic Peace Church Consultation
Bienenberg Theological Seminary, Switzerland, June 25-28, 2001
For Friends, practice takes precedence over doctrine. The Quaker peace testimony depends less on a verbally articulated theology as on an implicit realized eschatology (e.g. as in Luke 17:21, "The kingdom of God is among you.") in which the Sermon on the Mount is taken seriously here and now and not for some future time. Our ecclesiology is more explicit, finding church in the community of believers and, more important, doers. Central to our peace testimony is an optimistic anthropology in which we can know and witness to the divine spirit, and thereby nurture its seed in others, and "come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone."
Three aspects of our peace testimony, which when taken together give a distinctive flavor to our peace witness, are its assertiveness ("Speak Truth to Power"), its positive assumptions (the call "to answer that of God in everyone") and its basis in community. Walter Wink provides us with a modern Quaker hermeneutic for understanding it, as based in Jesus' Third Way. The Alternative to Violence Project provides us with a model of how this can work in at least one area in which violence is a problem.
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