The Fourth Way
Summary: A podcast focusing on issues related to nonviolence, and a member of the Kingdom Outpost.
Reformed theology and nonviolence don't tend to go hand in hand. In this episode I evaluate how Reformed theology and documents can provide us with some very deep roots from which to build a nonviolent life.
September 11 on the Jewish calendar is Tishrei 1 and had some seriously significant meaning. It is one possibility in Jewish tradition as being the birthday of Noah, and it may very well be the birthday of Jesus. Check out the notes for a link. Regardless of whether any of that is true, we're using today as an excuse to remember Noah and Jesus together and provide a long overdue rebuttal against Christian nonviolence which comes from the Noahic covenant.
I take a look at an article which discusses the importance of training our children to be peacemakers through our discipline and example. While such an approach might sound commonsense, I think this article highlights something very important. If you haven't listened to the spanking episodes, make sure you go back and do that first.
If means are concomitant with their ends, then how can a surgeon's scalpel and an attacker's knife lead to two morally different outcomes? While I don't claim to solve the issue in this episode, I do discuss some important nuances to consider as we address questions like this.
Just War Theory has, as one of its components, the notion that to wage a just war, the cause must be achievable. This episode explores how this moral reasoning damns Jesus on many Christian systems, as Jesus fails his mission both in terms of numbers and value achieved by the cross. Just War Theory makes Jesus both a quantitative and qualitative failure.
We explore whether or not a possible world could exist where Jesus didn't die to save sinners. If there is such a world, then is enemy love an immutable characteristic of God and an intrinsic component of what it means to love?
I explore the role of Jesus and the gospel in motivating Christians out of complacency and into the radical Kingdom life.
If we recognize the progression of society over time, why is looking back to the early church so important for Christians, and why is it such an emphasis of the nonviolent community?
Theodicies are great tools to help us see that while we don't know why evil exists, its existence doesn't logically necessitate throwing off belief in the God of the Bible. However, most theodicies have some pretty big holes in them, so adding in another facet is always great. I try to contribute to the issue by creating what I think is a theodicy which comes from an angle only the nonviolent could envision.
I recount an election season conversation I had about consequentialism, and express my frustration at how that went. After my rant, I explain several steps I'd take in the future to guide those sorts of conversations better.
I revisit the issue of lying by taking a look at Augustine to bolster my case. I also tie in Augustine's ideology with nonviolence.
The season on nonviolence explored nonviolent action from the individual to national level. In this afterword I discuss a book I recently read entitled "The Internationalists," which sheds a lot of light on international law, historic warfare, and the new shape of warfare and international action today. I discuss the importance of international nonviolent action for setting the stage for a more peaceful world.
We recap some of the biggest takeaways from our season on nonviolent action.
In this episode I meander through the ultimate question we have to ask after a whole season on nonviolent action: "Is the Gospel enough?" I talk about the gospel, what it means to have a holistic gospel, and how me and my group (conservative Evangelicals) tend to conveniently and selectively apply these mantras "the gospel alone" and "social justice.' I discuss some of the problems Christians need to think through if they are to follow a book which never concerned itself with establishing rights, and rather calls one to suffering, submission, and cross. Rather than an episode bringing a solid conclusion, this episode ends with more questions than answers, and will hopefully be followed up in season 10 on government, which I am planning to begin in April of 2022.
Following up our episodes on Benjamin Lay and an interview discussing the Quakers, we take one more episode to dive into the Quaker world in an attempt to understand what sorts of ideas and practice might help us to form characters which seek justice in the world despite the sacrifices such actions may call for. Intro - 0:00 Why do Quakers seem to have a clearer prophetic vision than other Christians? 2:15 Importance of individual action. 12:30 Hearing from God and consensus making 19:00 Importance of silence and discerning God's voice. 31:00 Do Quakers align with the early church? 41:00 How does consensus making work if you must make immediate decisions? 48:30 The importance and prominence of sacrifice among Quakers. 58:30 Jake's plugs. 77:30