Search our archive:

« Back to Issue 66

Non-Violent Action

Author: Ronald Sider
Published By: Brazos Press (Grand Rapids, Michigan)
Pages: 191
Price: £12.99
ISBN: 978 1 58743 366 5

Reviewed by Alun Brookfield.

As a young convert to the Christian faith in the 1970s, Ron Sider’s Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger challenged and changed my sense of global morality, so I was delighted to have the chance to review this, his latest book. With the subtitle “What Christian ethics demands, but most Christians have never tried”, I expected a solid, and biblically rooted, argument in favour of non-violent action.

Sadly, I was disappointed. This book consists almost entirely of the history of occasions when non-violent action actually worked. All very well, and informative, but, with no examples of when non-violent action didn’t work (and surely there must be plenty!), I found the book hard going. Interesting though the narrative is, as a believer in non-violent action, I craved more analysis, more reflection on why non-violence is often effective and why on some occasions it isn’t. I finally got some on pp.157-162, and on pp.172-173, but that was it.

I’m glad this book was written – we need to have the historical narrative to remind us of the many times when non-violent action has worked in both distant and recent past – but I doubt if this book would convince, say, the UK parliament to vote in favour of non-violent action against Daesh. Anecdotal evidence is good, but we also need hard, theological, rational argument alongside it.

Alun Brookfield

Editor of Ministry Today

Ministry Today

You are reading Issue 66 of Ministry Today, published in March 2016.

Who Are We?

Ministry Today aims to provide a supportive resource for all in Christian leadership so that they may survive, grow, develop and become more effective in the ministry to which Christ has called them.

Around the Site


© Ministry Today 2020