Solving Conflict in 3D

Recently, I have been thinking a lot about peace, violence, non-resistance, conflict solving, protecting human life and our military… and what role a commitment to follow Jesus plays in these issues.  I am not really qualified to make a definitive pronouncement on any of these issues, and I have been in enough discussions and arguments among Christians to recognize the messiness of the problems that result when 6 billion people from thousands of countries and thousands of religions live on one planet with limited resources.

I recently discovered, on facebook, a professor from my undergrad years at Eastern Mennonite University, Lisa Schirch. I took a few sociology classes with her (two, I think) and immediately connected with her style and perspective. She is well-educated, well-read, and has learned how to communicate with people from many different backgrounds and belief-systems.  I do not think she is an idealist. Rather, she is realistic about the complexity of national and international conflict. I think she is open to other points of view. However, I also think she has a deep commitment to Christ-like living and a fresh take on policy and strategy that our country needs… and it resonates with our call as Christians, our call to walk as Jesus did, to love our enemies and solve human conflict with mercy and love (not naivete, but serious grace grounded in realism and humility).

Check out her professional webiste here:  http://www.3dsecurity.org/   (make sure you find the “3D Memo to the Obama Administration”)  The first thing that strikes me about this site are the pictures at the top. Dr Schirch is walking and talking with military personnel, meeting with middle-eastern delegates.  Her work is not done in the cocoon of Christian pacifist circles. She is out there working with other experts, even working with “her enemies,” so to speak– the people in uniform carrying guns! (not actually our enemies, but I fear that sometimes we make them out to be enemies when we– Christian pacifists– talk about them) I love that her circle of influence is so wide and deep, and I have great respect for her approach to Christian peacemaking! Your thoughts?

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