Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Anarchy and Apocalypse: Essays on Faith, Violence, and Theodicy (2010) by Ronald E. Osborn

This book consists of eleven essays Ron Osborn wrote between 1999 to 2010. He covers a wide range of subjects such as the Holocaust, President Obama's Christian Realism and the death of the Seventh-day Adventists as a peace church (Osborn was raised as an Adventist). All the essays bar one were written in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Jesus called his followers to not resist evil but turn the other cheek. The US government contravened this command by retaliating to 9/11. Osborn explains that such a response only serves to create more violence. To break the cycle of violence it is necessary to return good for evil.

In reading Leo Tolstoy's The Kingdom of God is Within You and Noam Chomsky's The Chomsky Reader, Osborn was led from pacifism to Christian anarchism. Tolstoy viewed the state as a violent and deceitful institution that has no place in a truly Christian society.

Anarchy and Apocalypse is a great book for all those who believe Christianity is not merely a faith but a radical way of living.