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July 09, 2011

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Wayne Northey

Hi Eric.

Wes Howard-Brook and John Dear are decades-long authors/activists in the area of nonviolence and empire. What is (relatively - 2010) new is this publication that offers such breadth and depth to that theme.

Church of course also offers nothing "new" in calling us regularly together. It is however constantly needed life-saving reminder of who is Lord!

For the majority of English and American evangelicals, it remains impossible to acknowledge their dominant political ethos in the last two empires - the American Empire still in desperate hegemonic throes - as their own foundational reality out of which slavish allegiance "Christ is Lord" is urgent clarion call.

Blessings. Wayne

Eric H Janzen

Sounds like an interesting read, however these are not new ideas. Many Christians have understood the Kingdom of Heaven vs. Earthly Empires theme and tension in Scripture since the earliest days of the Church. As a Mennonite I grew up with an almost innate understanding of that tension. Nonviolence,for instance, to me is a no-brainer...yet I have gotten into plenty of debates with fellow Christians who think I'm out to lunch, while I try to understand how they reconcile the violent tools of the Empire with following Christ.

The book of Revelation itself cannot be understood without understanding the strong message of opposition to the Empire and God's ultimate victory over it as both a human reality and construct. One can rejoice that in the end Empire will join the devil and death in the lake of fire.

It is an important theme for all Bible readers to be aware of, but the assertion that this is somehow 'new'? I don't think so...maybe just new to the author.

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