Christians & the War Staff Report
The latest al Qaeda terror attacks have sparked renewed media coverage of Islam’s relationship with violence, and have spurred questions about the role of moderate and liberal Muslims in preventing the spread of extremism. In America, the same schism plays out between Christian conservatives who invoke the “just war” theory of saints Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, and pacifists who identify with Christ’s nonviolent example and teachings. The just war theory lays out criteria for Christians to follow when making the decision on whether or not to wage war. The BBC provides a detailed history of the just war theory, its Christian origins, and its basic proscriptions that such a war:
— must be for a just cause,
— is declared by a proper authority,
— is pursued with a righteous intention,
— is a last resort,
— has a reasonable chance of success,
— has an end proportional to the means used,
— should not cause innocents harm. Christian denominations such as evangelicals, Lutherans and Calvinists have drawn on the theory for centuries, according to Darrell Cole, a theologian at Drew University and a student of the Christian writer C.S. Lewis.