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What About Hitler? (Christian Practice Of Everyday Life Series)

Paperback|Oct 2006
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$41.99

Jesus's admonition to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us is a difficult injunction to put into practice. Is it ever permissible for Christians to respond to or retaliate against unmitigated evil? Robert Brimlow grapples with this...


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Jesus's admonition to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us is a difficult injunction to put into practice. Is it ever permissible for Christians to respond to or retaliate against unmitigated evil? Robert Brimlow grapples with this thorny question in What about Hitler? Throughout the book, he elegantly weaves together scriptural meditations, personal vignettes, and lucid philosophical thinking on various Christian stances toward war and violence. In addition, Brimlow delves into the mind of German pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, author of The Cost of Discipleship, who eventually conspired to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

Ultimately, Brimlow emerges as a staunch defender of Christian pacifism, yet both advocates of just war doctrine and peacekeepers will find their views strengthened by Brimlow's incisive and fair-minded approach. This work can be incorporated into undergraduate, graduate, and seminary courses dealing with Christian ethics and discipleship. It can also be used in adult study groups.

"This book is an honest examination of the most important challenge to pacifism: Would it not be right to use violence to stop great evil, such as that unleashed on the world by Hitler? Brimlow's honesty in dealing with the commands of Jesus is refreshing, and he does not shrink from confronting the dilemma of being a pacifist in a 'supreme emergency' of demonic evil unleashed on society. His answers are profound in their simplicity and honesty because he does not shy away from admitting that although God triumphs in the end, sometimes in this world evil triumphs over good in the here and now. He knows that nothing closes that gap but faith."
--Craig A. Carter, author of The Politics of the Cross

^ "A searching examination of just war and pacifist approaches to war and violence that leads to advice on discipleship. It is a book I would make required reading for a course on the morality of war, even though I don't always agree."

--Arthur F. Holmes, editor of War and Christian Ethics: Classic and Contemporary Readings on the Morality of War
-Publisher.

Must Christians always turn the other cheek and resist violence? Is it ever justifiable for Christians to retaliate in the face of evil? Philosopher Robert Brimlow struggles with these questions in What about Hitler? The author skillfully integrates meditations on scriptural passages, personal reflections on his own challenges to live nonviolently, and a hard-hitting philosophical examination of pacifism and just-war doctrine. Both Christian pacifists and defenders of just-war theory will appreciate this book. In addition, What about Hitler? will appeal to those interested in Christian ethics and discipleship, including students, pastors, and laity.
-Publisher

"This book is an honest examination of the most important challenge to pacifism: Would it not be right to use violence to stop great evil, such as that unleashed on the world by Hitler? Brimlow's honesty in dealing with the commands of Jesus is refreshing, and he does not shrink from confronting the dilemma of being a pacifist in a 'supreme emergency' of demonic evil unleashed on society. His answers are profound in their simplicity and honesty because he does not shy away from admitting that although God triumphs in the end, sometimes in this world evil triumphs over good in the here and now. He knows that nothing closes that gap but faith."--Craig A. Carter, author of The Politics of the Cross"With clarity and respect for the best arguments justifying violence, from Augustine and Bonhoeffer to Michael Walzer and Jean Bethke Elshtain, Robert Brimlow responds to the challenges of radical evil (symbolized by Hitler). Brimlow provocatively engages the reader on three levels: a philosophical analysis and critique of just war reasoning; meditations on the gospel and Jesus that support willingness to die rather than participating in violence as the 'answer' to Hitler; and the spiritual practices of prayer and daily acts of mercy that habituate persons to being the people of God."--Duane K. Friesen, coeditor of At Peace and Unafraid: Public Order, Security, and the Wisdom of the Cross "This is not an easy book to read, which is why Brimlow's book is so important. Brimlow does not have a sentimental bone in his body. His relentless analysis of just war and pacifism, therefore, will be painful for advocates of those positions. The hard clarity of his prose witnesses his refusal to report any easy answer to the question posed in the title. As a result, however, he has answered that question in the only honest way it can be answered."--Stanley Hauerwas, Duke Divinity School"A searching examination of just war and pacifist approaches to war and violence that leads to advice on discipleship. It is a book I would make required reading for a course on the morality of war, even though I don't always agree."--Arthur F. Holmes, editor of War and Christian Ethics: Classic and Contemporary Readings on the Morality of War "I expected, in this book, to see challenges issued to the just war theory. I was also not surprised to see probing questions--drawn creatively from Bonhoeffer and Orwell--posed to pacifists. However, I was not prepared to be so powerfully challenged by the gospel of Jesus Christ: to be reminded that the question takes on a very different resonance in the context of lives given to the spiritual and corporate works of mercy. What a wonderfully challenging book!"--Mark Thiessen Nation, author of John Howard Yoder: Mennonite Patience, Evangelical Witness, Catholic Convictions
-Publisher

PRODUCT DETAIL

Robert Brimlow

Robert W. Brimlow (Ph.D., University of Rochester) is associate professor of philosophy at St. John Fischer College in Rochester, New York. He is the coauthor, with Michael Budde, of Christianity Incorporated and author ofWhat about Hitler?: Wresting with Jesus' Call to Nonviolence in a world of Evil.

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