Closing Thoughts (1)
Near the beginning of this series the hypothesis to be tested was defined as follows:
Therefore, were one a believer in Christian pacifism, then, beyond the primary issue of Gentile conversion, the secondary “scruples that Peter found so hard to overcome” must have been about the admission of a professional warrior into the pacifistic Christian community.
The means of testing this hypothesis was also defined, that being:
… by taking the radical step of submitting to what the Bible actually says as opposed to assuming what we would like it to say.
Of course, this hypothesis and means also describe the methodology of this blog. That is, Christ’s saving act upon the Roman centurion Cornelius and his household is simply one event from the larger sweep of His purposes. We are here considering how, if at all, God has chosen to deal with the issue of warfare and the humans who engage in it. Be it David or Cornelius, a tribe, nation or empire, is God willing to incorporate human warriors within the bounds of His grace, and, are Christians prevented from engaging in warfare? Therefore, I will expand the scope of these concluding remarks accordingly.
I have discussed the challenges associated with knowing who Jesus Christ is throughout numerous posts. For example, how unexamined assumptions can blind us to what the Biblical text actually teaches. I have also discussed how we can overcome this barrier. The answer consists of being open to the entire Biblical record in combination with the application of orthodox Reformed doctrine and interpretative rules.
I then reviewed the Biblical record regarding the concept of pacifism at a high level. Recall that while I fully embraced Christ’s teaching that we should always seek “peacefulness,” this was demonstrated to be distinctly differentiable from the ideology of “pacifism.” This conclusion was reached by application of the general interpretative concepts discussed above to the specific issue of pacifism.
This foundation allowed us to examine the life of King David with minds un-befuddled by pacifistic cant. This fresh study was necessary because our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ is tied in the most intimate manner with King David, a warrior and poet after God’s own heart. Thus, failure to understand the human king who’s life and reign foreshadows Christ’s eternal Kingship utterly undermines our ability to fully comprehend the person and purpose of our Savior.
All of this has led up to Christ and Cornelius, which is obviously the capstone to the series’ argument, and which will be discussed in the next post.