Violence (including gun issues, domestic violence, etc)

Review: The Violence of the Biblical God: Canonical Narrative and Christian Faith by L. Daniel Hawk

[1] In a “Letters” response to an appraisal of this book, author Daniel Hawk writes: “The review reveals that I missed the bar, and missed it considerably in some instances…I therefore find the critique painfully illuminating and appreciate [Shai Held’s] pressing it with all due force” (Christian Century, September 11, 2019, p. 6).  The reviewer’s […]

Review: A Nonviolent Theology of Love: Peacefully Confessing the Apostles’ Creed. By Sharon L. Baker Putt

[1] Dr. Murray Haar of Augustana University is famous among his religion department students for the bold warning posted on his office door. “Think…That you may be wrong.” This directive might feel out of place in many Introduction to Systematic Theology texts—the goal of which often involves preserving the interpretations and debates of Western European, […]

Editor’s Introduction: Gun Violence and Childhood Trauma

[1] “The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.  They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” Isaiah 11: […]

Congregational Discussion Questions: Gun Violence and Childhood Trauma

​Because this issue centers around the questions of trauma and childhood, readers might consider engaging high school and middle school youth groups in their study and discussions of these issues.  These conversations might need to be done in virtual formats or on discussion boards during the pandemic. Questions for adults to ask older children: What […]

The Messianic Reign in Isaiah 11:1-10: A Message to Foster Children Post-Traumatic Growth

Introduction [1]   Just as warfare was a cultural problem in ancient Israel, traumatizing children and adults, gun violence is a cultural problem in the United States. The impact of gun violence on children and adolescents is not only burdensome but can also be disastrous. Guns are not the only means to perpetrate harm but “the significance of gun […]

Marching for Our Lives on the Road to Jericho

Introduction [1] Gun violence and its trauma have reached epidemic proportions. The term epidemic in this instance is both a public health appraisal of the impact of gun violence as well as a metaphor that might spark the civic imagination toward a more effective response. The metaphor is apt in a number of ways: it highlights the […]

#SaveOurChildren, From Those Sworn to Protect and Serve

[1] A few weeks ago, my four-year-old daughter stood behind as my eyes swelled up with tears staring into my phone. “Mommy, what are you watching?” She asked. I explained to her that it was a video of some of the Black people who had been killed by police officers over the years. Her expression […]

Book Review Introduction

This month our three book reviews address guns and political beliefs.  The first two books offer insights directly relevant to gun violence and gun control debates.  These books are reviewed by two ELCA pastors living in Montana.  Rev. Jean Larson, who also served as Faith Outreach Leader for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in […]

Review: Fear Not: Living Grace and Truth in a Frightened World, by Eric H.F. Law.

[1] Fear Not is useful for Christians confronting gun violence, even though it was not written specifically for that purpose.  This volume is a second edition of Law’s 2007 book, Finding Intimacy in a World of Fear, written in response to 9/11 and the American experience of fear and its manipulations.  Law has written a new preface and […]

Review: Common Ground: Talking About Gun Violence in America, by Donald V. Gaffney

[1] In the United States, public discussion about gun violence and gun control is over-politicized and under-ethicized.   Since our postmodern and polarized society does not share a common religious and moral vocabulary, it has instead reduced dilemmas like gun violence and gun control to the language of secular “rights” and the proper size of regulatory […]