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The Christian Witness to the State

The Christian Witness to the State

Series: John Howard Yoder Series
By author: John Howard Yoder
Product Code: 9209
ISBN: 9780836192094
Pages: 92
Binding Information: Paper
Size: 9.00 x 6.00 inches

Publication Date: 5/16/2007

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"Our purpose is to analyze whether it is truly the case that a Christian pacifist position rooted not in pragmatic or psychological but in Christological considerations is thereby irrelevant to the social order." —John Howard Yoder

These words by John Howard Yoder set the course of his pathbreaking treatise, The Christian Witness to the State. Yoder’s novel contribution to the debate concerning the church’s and the Christian’s calling is his starting point. He insists that Christ, through his death and resurrection, is now exercising dominion over the world. God has reclaimed his intention for creation. Thus the structures of the social order has as much potential for good as for evil. The church belongs in this world; it has a mission to and even with society.

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  1. The Problem Identified ... 5
  2. The Ground for the Witness to the State ... 8
  3. The Form of the Church's Witness ... 16
  4. General Considerations of Ethical Theory ... 28
  5. The Criteria of Political Judgment ... 35
  6. Examples of Political Judgment ... 45
  7. The Classic Options Graphically Portrayed ... 60
  8. Theoretical Understandings of the State ... 74
  9. Misuse of the Church/World Dichotomy ... 84

"The Christian Witness to the State is a model of reflection on the social mission of the church from the vantage point of a peace church ecclesiology. We owe John Howard Yoder a debt for leading us through the invaluable exercise of writing from the riches of one’s own tradition yet possessing the freedom to correct it out of the shared resources of the whole body of Christ." —John Rempel, Mennonite Central Committee liaison to the United Nations, New York City

"A crucial resource for all Christians who seek to live faithful to the politics of Jesus." —Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe professor of Theological Ethics, Duke University

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