The Early Church Readings
The book by Holmes War and Christian Ethics is a collection of materials from different writers covering issues of just war, pre-emptive war, weapons for mass destruction, as well as pacifism. The issues covered are related to current world events. They also contain Phrases derived from many writers such as Plato, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther King, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Paul Ramse. The Early Church Readings determine criticism of war, and it is derived from materials from influential patristic, medieval, as well as, modern writers concerned about the morality of war from diverse perspectives especially among Christians.
Holmes selected crucial themes that cover Just War, Non-violence, on government service, to the emperor Theodosius (Holmes 55). The readings share a common thing because they indicate Christian attitude towards war and peace. He used the text to develop a just war tradition with a Christian thought. The writers covered a theoretical base that seeks to investigate the relationship between Christians and war and how they decide upon themselves on what they believe in. In addition, they provide a religious view that explains and justifies conflicts with few themes that are more relevant than the morality of war, analyzed from a perspective of Christian ethics. These writers also cover ethical position that the Christian faith does not comply with any form of violence.
The phrases describe the Christian attitude to non-violence (Holmes 33); hence, provide an insight on Christian thought concern the institution of war. This enables readers to explore a dogmatic base that accounts for Christian attitude towards war, and the relationship created between God and man. They also provide an approach that leads to the assumption of the spiritual and metaphysical but focuses on the Christian morality and associated generational rules, as well as, ethical principles that can be achieved by an interpretation of scripture. The connection that exists between the Christian view on war and the legal stipulations on morality of war can be seen with the modern conception that is stripped, and refers to Christian dogma or metaphysics. The readings provide an explanation on the existence of two types of wars that are permissible within the Christian thought.
These are the holy war and the just war. According to Holmes, holy wars are fought for the ideals of faith and waged by the on government service (Holmes 48). The participation of Christian in a holy war is seen as a positive duty and qualifies to be a just war. However, a just war is not necessarily a holy war. With reference to wars, as explained in the early Christian teachings, most passages in the readings do not justify the use of violence. In addition, there are passages that condemn the Christian participation on warfare.
In conclusion, the Christian view on war has changed drastically throughout the history of Christian faith. However, the idea of violence can be seen in the original version of the just war doctrine, and it states that war can be used to restore peace and justice. Therefore, there is a basic assumption that war can only be justified when conditions are met.