Ben Witherington on Obama’s Nobel Prize Speech

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An excellent post by BWIII on Obama’s Nobel Prize Speech. He highlights Obama’s influences, gives the text of the speech and his critique of it. It is very, very well done and insightful (as always). –

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  1. I downloaded a copy of the speech today and I have read most of it. I was disappointed, not because the President believes there is a time when war is justified (even though I disagree with that thinking) but because it seemed as though he was saying how he believes in peace until it comes down to American politics…then there is such a thing as a justification for war. I would have like to have seen our President, who not only has been shaped by Christian theology and faith but also prior to becoming president was against the war in Iraq, apologize on behalf of the nation for our nation starting a war that clearly went against the historical Christian criterion for just war…then, perhaps he would not have come off sounding as though his political policies on war are not above the critique of his personal views on war and peace.

    Second, whether we ethically subscribe to the “just-war theory” or “pacificism”, we all should be alarmed by the President’s reading of scripture in relation to the history of war. The President said regarding the history of warfare: “War, in one form or another, appeared with the first man. At the dawn of history, its morality was not questioned; it was simply a fact, like drought or disease — the manner in which tribes and then civilizations sought power and settled their differences.” War was not a product of God’s creation. However we read Genesis (i.e., literally, figuratively, etc…), war along with disease and all other suffering was a result of fallen creation…something God is redeeming us from.

    Grace and peace,


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