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"This is what we mean by eschatology: a hope which, defying present frustration, defines a

present position in terms of the yet unseen goal which gives it meaning."
--John Howard Yoder

"Nonresistance is right, in the deepest sense, not because it works, but because it anticipates the
triumph of the Lamb that was slain."

The idea is that all secular states operate on “the myth of redemptive violence” (Walter
Wink)—this is then easy to plug into a Girardian account of the scapegoat, read through Christ

"These aeons are not distinct periods of time, for they exist simultaneously. They differ rather in
nature or in direction; one points backward to human history outside of (before) Christ; the other
points forward to the fullness of the kingdom of God, of which it is a foretaste. Each aeon has a
social manifestation: the former in the 'world,' the latter in the church or the body of Christ."
"All through his ministry, from the temptation in the desert to the last minute in Gethsemane,
violent means were offered him from all sides as short cuts to the accomplishment of his
purposes, and he refused to use them. He struck at the very institution of human justice with his
'Who made me a judge over you?' and even into the intimacy of the family circle with his 'not
peace but a sword!'"
"Nonviolence is thus not a matter of legalism but of discipleship, not 'thou shalt not' but 'as he
is, so are we in this world' (1 John 4:17)...Solidarity with Christ ('discipleship') must often be in
tension with the wider human solidarity (John 15:20; 2 Cor 1:5; 4:10; Phil. 1:29; 2:5-8; 3:10; Col.
1:24f; Heb. 12:1-4; 1 Pet. 2:21f.; Rev. 12:11)"
"But superficially the greatest novelty and the occasion of stumbling was his willingness to
sacrifice in the interest of nonresistant love, all other forms of human solidarity, including the
legitimate national interests of the chosen people."
"Christ is not only Head of the church; he is at the same time Lord of history, reigning at the right
hand of God over the principalities and powers. The old aeon, representative of human history
under the mark of sin, has also been brought under the reign of Christ (which is not identical with
the consummate kingdom of God, 1 Cor. 15:24). The characteristic of the reign of God is that evil,
without being blotted out, is channelized by God, in spite of itself, to serve God's purposes.
Vengeance itself, the most characteristic manifestation of evil, instead of creating chaos as is its
nature, is harnessed through the state in such a way as to preserve order and give room for the
growth and work of the church. Vengeance is not thereby redeemed or made good; it is
nonetheless rendred subservient to God's purposes, as an anticipation of the promised ultimate
defeat of sin. This lordship over history had already been claimed for YHWH in the Old Testament.
Isaiah 10 exemplifies God's use of the state's vengefulness to administer judgment, but without
approving of the vengefulness, and without exempting the 'scourge of His wrath' from judgment
in its turn."
God uses the nations to administer His wrath but that doesn’t mean Christians can be involved
with this.
"With judgment and hell the old aeon comes to its end (by being left to itself) and the fate of the
disobedient is exclusion from the new heaven and new earth, the consummation of the new
society begun in Christ."
"It is abundantly clear in the New Testament, as all exegetes agree, that this final triumph over
evil is not brought about by any human or political means. The agent in judgment is not the
church, for the church suffers nonresistantly. (Note the themes of patience and endurance in
Revelation 6:9-11; 13:10; 14:12.) Nor is the agent the state, as it is for the judgments of God
within history; for in fact the king or the state, refusing ever more demonically Christ's dominion,
becomes God's major enemy (Antichrist)."

--to understand Eusebius you must understand Biblical prophecy and the way it was interpreted
in the early Church
--God’s accommodations to us can also be providential blessings, and civil government is a good
example; Israel’s kingship was an accommodation to sin and yet was also a providentially
ordained situation which led to Christ
--for Paul marriage practically exists as an accommodation to human sin, yet it is also a sacrament
which exhibits Christ and His Church. Celibacy is a good analogy to pacifism: an eschatological

--the OT prophets criticize the pagan kings for failing to uphold God’s law—and occasionally
commends them for fulfilling God’s will; i.e. Cyrus
--Neo-Anabaptism and nonviolence’s excellent trait is assuring us that we must trust in God

“An eschatological account of creation does not necessarily commit one to nonviolence, but it at
least puts one in that ballpark. It does so because creation was, after all, God’s determinative act
of peace. If therefore, the end is the beginning, at the very least Christians who justify the
Christian participation in war bear the burden of proof.” –Stanley Hauerwas

“That is why the Christian alternative to war is best thought of as not an ‘ethic’; rather, the
Christian alternative to war is Eucharist. Christ is the end of all sacrifices not determined by his
cross.” –Stanley Hauerwas

--“nonviolence” is compatible with a certain kind of literal violence; analogy: ahisma in the
Bhagavad Gita
--Hollenbach: pacifism and just war must co-exist in this tension
--Dorothy Day and [the other guy and probably others] use just war theory to argue for pacifism

Christianity must necessarily have a presumption in favour of nonviolence, and any violent
gesture always has a heavy burden of proof upon it.
It is obviously reductionist to [taxonomize] those who allow for Christian warfare as “neo-
Augustinian” in contrast to “neo-Anabaptist” pacifists. Some of the most outspoken pacifists of
the 20th century were Roman Catholics and therefore within a broadly Augustinian tradition.
Explain; medieval examples. Anabaptism can be seen as a denominational expression of [an
element within the broad tradition of the Church. Analogy: Pentecostalism takes the New
Testament depiction of miracles and glossolia as normative
--but it is important to recognize that Anabaptism does not propose that nonviolence is, per
se, a better way to run a civil government. It acknowledges that all human order is based on
violence. What it proposes is that the Church is run by a different ethic than the world; it flatly
rejects a common morality, a “natural law” ethic common to nonbelievers and believers. [This
is an aspect of “Constantinism” that Yoder identifies: the ontocracy.1
&q=john%20howard%20yoder%20justin%20martyr&f=false ]
[This is ultimately an expression of an eschatological position: this world is, ultimately,
doomed, not oriented towards God. A Christian pacifist like Ellul couples a neutral sociological
analysis of violence underlying societies with a theological assessment which views [the
technological state as the Beast] and the necessity or inevitability of violence in social order as
a reflection of the Book of Revelation’s prediction of history’s inevitable destiny towards the
We also must be careful in how we articulate the competing problems. For example,
some may say that Anabaptism misses out [the beauty of the world or whatever]. But this may
be to its advantage: Luther bequeathed us with the illustrative dichotomy between a
theologian of glory and a theologian of the Cross. Remember that Satan tempted Jesus with
“all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor”, and Anabaptists might well say they are
making the same rejection as Christ did in rejecting the world with all its greatness built on
violence. [the early Christian Apologists are seen as being the villains of the piece, who in
attempting to make Christianity appealing to pagans ended up [[[[developing natural law and
mitigating the difference between Christian ethics and worldly ethics]]]]]
But this also means that engaging Anabaptism means engaging with Biblical
eschatology and apocalyptic, and it is probably fair to see Augustine’s development of the
possibility of a just war as related to his development of Christian eschatology. [Augustine’s
“amillenialism” means that Christ is reigning now? Rejection of chiliasm]

But notice that there is an eschatological component here.
Hauerwas pits apocalyptic2 against a universal ethic.

1 "Constantism actually began two centuries before Constantine, with Justin Martyr's
Neoplatonic split that marginalized Jesus and Jesus's way. Justin wrote that we must obey
Jesus in how we worship, but ‘in all else we obey you, O Emperor.’ Constantinism was not first
of all about there being a Christian emperor, but about Christians weakening, thinning, or giving
up any ethic that was critical of the emperor's policies and demands for loyalty." In a sense,
this is correct, not only because Justin expressed loyalty to the Emperor but also because
[seminal Logos, natural law]. [Just war has its roots ultimately in pagan, pre-Christian
philosophy and correspondingly natural law helps justify it ][for example the principle of
double effect] but what about the Johannine Logos?
2 "By apocalyptic, Stringfellow did not mean speculative theories about the end of time, nor did

he mean that apocalyptic was some kind of poetic expression that embodied the existential
condition facing each person. Apocalyptic for him always was a way of reminding us of the
=false (Kerr notes the tension between particularity and universality in Hauerwas) – trying to
mitigate Yoder’s two moralities?3

Analogy to Old Testament Israel4

What does Romans 13 have to do with Christ? Answer: Christological interpretation of history—
the State was instituted—i.e. within history, within God’s economy.

YODER: “Peace Without Eschatology”

Stanley Hauerwas: "...the kind of pacifism the Bishops seem to adopt is one built more on a
secular hope than on the eschatological hope made possible in Jesus Christ...Erasmus is the
beginning of the peculiar modern assumption that war is wrong because it is so destructive and
stupid. No particular theological beliefs are required for such a position; nor is it in continuity
with past forms of Christian pacifism. Erasmus was not a Christian pacifist; he was a pacifist who
happened to be Christian...most Christian pacifism, at least before the Enlightenment, never
assumed that the Christian commitment to peace promised a just or war-free world...Christian
pacifism is not based on the assumption that Jesus has given us the means to achieve a warless
world, but rather, as John Howard Yoder suggests, peace describes the hope, the goal in the light
of which the pacifist acts....Yoder argues there is more than a slash between the words
'already/not yet'--the slash is (exactly as Ramsey suggests) aeon. From the perspective of the
New Testament, our present age--that is, the age from Pentecost to Parousia--is the time that
these aeons overlap. These aeons, therefore, exist simultaneously: The old points backward to
history before Christ; the new points forward to the fulfillment of the kingdom of God made fully
present in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Moreover, each aeon has a social
manifestation: the former in the 'world'; the latter in the church...Yoder, therefore, criticizes
those pacifists who confuse eschatological pacifism with the optimistic political pacifism which
thought that peace might be achieved through the action of unrepentant states...sin and death
are embodied in a history that requires an alternative history if our salvation is to be anything

intrinsically political character of salvation. Apocalyptic is not an unfortunate mythological

excrescence on metaphysical and ethical truths; it is, instead, the truthful and unavoidable
mode of language in which one must talk about a world that is created but fallen, that has been
redeemed but does not acknowledge its Redeemer...Apocalyptic is Stringfellow's--and we
believe the authentic Christian--mode of taking seriously Christ's Lordship over the public, the
social, the political. In particular, apocalyptic was Stringfellow's way of reminding us that history
is not a seamless web of causal relations."
3 Yoder’s ethics led to him being a sexual predator
4 Fr. John L McKenzie says that his “convinced pacifis[m]” began with his study of the Old

Testament prophets
more than a vague hope. The name we give the social manifestation that makes our history
present is church. We believe the church's history is the only true history of the world, but there
is no way to establish that till God's kingdom comes in its fulfillment. In between the times we
must live by faith. But such faithful living we can live confident that God's victory has been
accomplished forever through Jesus of Nazareth." Hauerwas does not identify with an idea of
“pacifism” but instead simply following Jesus. “eschatological pacifism”

Yoder: “

Discussions of this sort always end up converging on Romans 13, a passage which does not even
refer to warfare but is instead about the civil government.5

Just War Theory

“Therefore, whoever resists this authority, such as it has been ordain by God, resists the
ordination of God. [Romans 13:2] Otherwise, he would be proposing two principles to exist, as
did Manichaeus, and this we judge to be false and heretical. For Moses testified that God created
heaven and earth, not in the beginnings, but "in the beginning." [Genesis 1:1]” (Cardinal
Manning translation)

“Quicunque igitur huic potestati a Deo sic ordinatae resistit; Dei ordinationi resistit, [Romans
13:2] nisi duo sicut Manichaeus fingat esse principia: quod falsum et haereticum [esse]
judicamus: quia testante Moyse, non in principiis, sed in principio coelum Deus creavit et terram.
[Genesis 1:1]”

“But the world is born Manichean, and will die such; it will ever feel within itself the struggle of
the two principles. We wold wish, indeed, not to believe in this duality, but we find it
everywhere—nowhere more than in ourselves…” – Jules Michelet,

“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.’”
(Matthew 28:18)

5It is probably anachronistic to talk about this being about “the state”. “The state” is in many
ways a modern, legal-rational and bureaucratic understanding of civil government, and, more
to the point, as Yoder observes,
"Ellul’s political escapism can be characterized as a form of transcendentalized political
gnosticism... For Ellul the world as created has no place in it for Christianity; Christians cannot be
in the world without being of the world.”

Apocalyptic vs. Gnosticism

“Apocalyptic was the mother of all Christian theology” –Ernst Kasemann

Gnosticism and Apocalypticism are both an explanation of the fact that the whole world seems
to lie under the control of the wicked one and thus are both a kind of dualism.

History and Eschatology

St. Bernard of Clairvaux’s book: Liber ad milites templi de laude novae militiae – Book to the
Knights of the Temple, In Praise of the New Knighthood –there is something “new” about this

"It seems that a new knighthood has recently appeared on the earth, and precisely in that part
of it which the Orient from on high visited in the flesh. As he then troubled the princes of
darkness in the strength of his mighty hand, so there he now wipes out their followers, the
children of disbelief, scattering them by the hands of his mighty ones. Even now he brings
about the redemption of his people raising up again a horn of salvation for us in the house of
his servant David.This is, I say, a new kind of knighthood and one unknown to the ages gone by.
It ceaselessly wages a twofold war both against flesh and blood and against a spiritual army of
evil in the heavens…Do you not see how frequently these ancient witnesses foreshadowed the
new knighthood?” https://web-

Inaugurated eschatology—both realized and final eschatology, or perhaps “transitional


Yoder is obviously correct that there must be a sense in which the earth is simultaneously
controlled by the devil and by God.

God’s ordering of history is salvific—including the origins of nations

Deuteronomy 32:8 in the patristics etc. Origen interpreted this through the story of Babel:
nationhood was something that humanity fell into because of sin; Israel is NOT a nation but
simply humanity. Archons rule the nations; this is why Satan can tell Jesus that he controls
the world. These national angels are seen in the Book of Daniel. But Jesus conquered these
archons, as Ephesians and Colossians reveal

Book of Daniel

The statue.
The way Dante interprets that statue: the tears of that statue are the rivers of Hell.

This shows the tension: nations are both an accommodation to and a result of sin, and yet are
something God actively ordained, both for the restraint of sin but also to orient the world towards
the Christ event.
Important because it seems like, as Mussolini put it, “blood alone moves the wheels of history”.
Or mao: political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.
Important: if Ellul etc. are correct that violence is somewhat essential to the maintenance of
a civil government, and if God ordained the civil government in a way which has a specific
Christological reference point, then state-sanctioned violence is

Is Romans 13 specifically making an exception to Romans 12?

Irenaeus specifically quotes this against the Gnostics who claim that the devil controls the world
it seems like Augustine is actually in clear continuity with his rejection of Manicheanism and the
earlier fathers’ refutation of Gnosticism
and notice that Irenaeus situates this within a discussion of prophecy

Romans 13 has an eschatological dimension

"Rulers here are kings who are created in order to correct behavior and prevent bad things from
happening. They have the image of God, because everyone else is under one head…...Since God
has ordained that there will be a future judgment and he does not want anyone to perish, he has
ordained rulers in this world who, by causing people to be afraid of them, act as tutors to
mankind, teaching them what to do in order to avoid future punishment....One must be
subject...because of the coming judgment, for whoever escapes now will be punished then, his
own conscience accusing him.." –Ambrosiaster

"In Amos nations are punished directly historically because of crimes they committed internally,
unrelated to Israel."

"some Jewish traditions regarded political authority as given to rulers by God. That view appears
in the OT (Isa 45:1-3; Jer 27:1-7; Prov 8:15-16; 24:21; Dan 2:21, 36-38; 4:17; cf. Wis 6:3-4; Sir
10:14; 17:17)...Moreover, the emphasis on loyalty to the governing authorities, even when they
were foreign, has a basis in the OT, as at Jeremiah 29:7...(cf. Bar 1:11)...It is striking also to find a
similar passage in 1 Peter 2:13-17. Although neither author is likely to be dependent directly on
the teachings of Jesus, the gospels portray Jesus as endorsing respect for the emperor and the
paying of taxes (Matt 22:21//Mark 12:17//Luke 20:25)."

"...the one who rebels against the power of the state is resisting the arrangement, and with it,
the will of God. The Greek order which the apostle uses here was still translated by Luther with
the word 'order,' although today it is usually rendered 'ordinance.' It does not mean an
institution of creation, but a legally valid notification or even an announcement of the will of
God (Gal. 3:19). Correspondingly, the state is not an order of life directly instituted by God, but
a (human) form of life which exists from and according to God's directive (cf. 1 Pet. 2:13)."

"Behind this statement (1 Cor. 6:2) lies Daniel 7:17, 22, 27. But if it is argued that this apocalyptic
outlook is incompatible with that of Romans 13:1-7...let it be borne in mind that, according to
that same book of Daniel, pagan monarchs like Nebuchadnezzar owe their authority to the Most
High God and are responsible to him for the way in which they exercise it."
"The authorities are ministers of God. The Greek word for 'minister' here is leitourgos (not
diakonos, as in verse 4), a word which in New Testament and early Christian literature is used
particularly of religious service."

The fact that civil authorities administer God’s WRATH—and in Romans the word “wrath”
refers to God’s wrath—suggests—what?

"The concept of vengeance appears in 12:19 and 13:4. In 12:17-21 Paul insists that Christians
should not avenge themselves and leave vengeance to God's eschatological judgment. In 13:1-7,
however, he qualifies 12:17-21 so that the latter verses are not misunderstood. Even though
believers are not to avenge themselves, it does not follow from this that the government abstains
from punishing those who violate the law"

Yoder wants to read Romans 13 through Revelation 13 but perhaps the reverse is true.
“There [in Rev 13] the refrain that his power 'was given' (edothe) to him predominates (Rev. 13:5
[twice], 7 [twice], 14, 15)." He quotes Mounce as observing, "John's readers would understand...a
reference to God, the ultimate source of all power." The divine passive

The state is a kind of realized eschatology.

"The judgment of the state against evildoers in history anticipates the eschatological judgment
of God at the end of history."
This includes the state’s right to capital punishment, as signified by “the sword”.
"Paul would not have flinched in endorsing the right of ruling authorities to practice capital
punishment since Gen. 9:6 supports it..."
Part of Providence.
"Having established God's sovereignty in history in chapters 9-11, Paul now recognizes that God
also appoints rulers for his purposes."
"Taxes helped to fund Roman armies, which did evil as well as maintained order, and state cults.
Nevertheless, Christians had to support their societies."

Weber: the state is the monopoly on the legitimate use of force

Note that the Church Fathers did not see the civil governments as the Antichrist at present, but
as what was “preventing” the Antichrist from coming and arriving.

John Howard Yoder

Christian Attitudes to War, Peace, and Revolution

“Jesus is not generally a model in the New Testament. He was celibate, as far as we can tell, but
even when the apostle Paul is arguing that it is good to remain unmarried, he does not appeal to
the model of Jesus. Jesus worked with his hands as some kind of builder for a while, yet when
Paul extols the virtue of working with one’s hands as a tentmaker, he does not appeal to the
example of Jesus. So Jesus is appealed to as an example not generally but only at the point of the
meaning of the cross. On that subject he is always appealed to. Every major strand of New
Testament literature has this thought in its foundation.” (315)