THE NON-VIOLENT CROSS by James W. Douglass


Email this review


Ernie Levy once wrote, ""Christians say they love Christ, but I think they hate him without knowing it. So they take the cross by the other end and make a sword out of it and strike with it."" This book, as its title indicates, takes up this theme, demonstrating that if the mission of Christianity is not peace and universal love (it is impossible to separate the two), then it -- and the Church -- is nothing. Unfortunately, the author points out, historically it has been precisely that; nothing. Now, however, things seem to be changing, and the book traces the rise of a new vision of Christianity (or a revival of the original vision) as the catalyst of peace, through Bonhoeffer, Gandhi, John XXIII and Vatican II, and outlines a bright future for the emergent theology of love. The book articulates convincingly the feelings of those who have felt frustration and disgust at the spectacle of a supposedly Christian civilization subsisting, for practical purposes, on violence and war -- always ""just wars,"" mind you; was there ever a war that was not ""just""? If one may make one criticism of the book, and perhaps it is unfair in view of the author's limited objectives, it is with respect to the concept of peace simply as the absence of violence. That is hardly a ""Christian Peace."" But it's a mere cavil in the context of a book of considerable interest.

Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 1968
Publisher: Macmillan