Jesus and Pacifism

An Exegetical and Historical Investigation

By Andrew A. Fulford
About this book

Was Jesus a pacifist?

In recent decades, the ideal of pacifism has gone from the margins to the mainstream, first among liberal Protestantism and more recently among evangelicals as well. Frustrated with the misguided militarism of the Christian Right, many young Christians have turned to the works of Stanley Hauerwas, and John Howard Yoder, seeking a more authentic way to walk in the way of Jesus.

In this book, Andrew Fulford shows that these arguments, while well-intentioned, fail to take seriously the whole biblical witness and even the teaching of Jesus, and recommends that contemporary Christians troubled by the scourge of violence look instead to the magisterial Protestant just war tradition.

Paperback | 126 pages | 5×8 | Published November 28, 2016 | ISBN 978-0692812723

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From the Introduction

“As time went on, I began to have questions that Dr. Yoder did not satisfactorily answer for me, and yet neither did his contemporary anti-pacifist critics. These questions included the significance of the Old Testament (henceforward abbreviated “OT”) for Christian ethics, the place of natural law in the same, and the precise details of some Yoderian exegesis. At the same time as these questions arose for me, I was also studying issues of biblical authority, hermeneutics, and early church history, and all those studies inevitably coloured my thoughts on the other areas.

“Being satisfied neither with Dr. Yoder nor with the already published criticisms of his work, I began to look for cognitive rest on the issue by studying the sources directly and with biblical commentators and church historians (rather than primarily Christian ethicists). The answers I give here are the results of that search. I have developed some of the arguments present here even further than they appear in this work, and hope to write something more comprehensive on the subject in the future. For the time being, however, since interest in the subject is not waning, and because I haven’t seen any other work that answers the questions I had in a way that satisfies me, I offer them to other readers who might be on a similar search for answers.“

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  1. Context
  2. Comparing the Old And New Testaments
  3. The Teachings of Christ
  4. The Post-Apostolic Church
  5. Concluding Reflections

Appendix: A Brief Rejoinder to Hauerwas on Lewis and Pacifism


About the Author

Andrew Fulford is currently studying for a Ph.D. in Reformation history at McGill University. He is the author of Jesus and Pacifism and a contributor to the recently released Richard Hooker and Reformed Orthodoxy.


The Davenant Institute endeavors to restore wisdom for the contemporary church. We seek to sponsor historical scholarship at the intersection of the church and academy, build friendships and facilitate collaboration within the Reformed and evangelical world, and equip the saints with time-tested resources for faithful public witness. Below are some of the works we’ve published towards that end.

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