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Book Review – Fight

April 2, 2014

I have read a wealth of material over the past three years covering the topic of war and Christian ethics and philosophies surrounding the topic. Books, journal articles, documentaries – all of these have allowed me to have a breadth of material to compare this book to. That being said, I would consider Fight: A Christian Case for Nonviolence[1] one of the best contemporary treatments of the topic.

Preston Sprinkle approaches the topic from the position of nonviolence. He is not shy about that – after all, it is on the cover as the subtitle. He does not ignore other positions, but boldly addresses them quite thoroughly. He admits what many may consider weak points in his position – an example being he is a gun owner – to be transparent. It is this boldness which earns credibility from the reader.

Sprinkle walks the reader through the Old Testament acknowledging the darkness of many of the narratives in it. He looks at both sides of the issue and examines whether the text is literal or if there is some type of cultural nuance involved. He examines the prophets and their approach to the violence that surrounded them. He believes this combined material will lead the believer to a more nuanced view of the death and destruction.

Then the New Testament is tackled. His examination there is quite predictable as he discusses the passages about love and forgiveness. I am not downplaying this examination, as he does an excellent job is laying his case out, but this is the predictable direction for a peacemaker to take. Where Sprinkle breaks from the typical mold is his work on Revelation. Sprinkle does an excellent job providing an alternate view to the Revelation of John. The best thing about it is he does it well and provides a defendable case for his view.

The last thing Sprinkle confronts the reader with is what I will call the “practical theology” section. Here he discusses his view on defending your home and family. He moves on to answer questions people have posed to him in the past and address the Cruciform King. This is where he ties his Old Testament and New Testament views together and puts it in action.

I provide little detail in my review and I am well aware of that and it was intentional. This is a book which must be read and processed one page at a time. It took a little longer than normal to read this book because it demands greater reflection than many books. Sprinkle does not provide an entertaining book; he crafted a book which will transform the reader if they are willing to put the effort into it. Considering the world and all of the violence it contains, I recommend you buy this book and get to work on it immediately.

[1] Preston Sprinkle. Fight: A Christian Case for Nonviolence. (Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook, 2013).

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