Evangelicals, Intervention, and Alienationism

Kerry and Assad at Dinner (ca 2009)

In the midst of the US push for war in Syria—it will be a war, in spite of Secretary of State Kerry’s statements about it being a “limited” strike—I thought I would highlight a couple of good articles on why Christians, especially evangelicals, should not support intervention.

The first is Thomas Kidd’s recent Patheos blogpost entitled “The Roots of Evangelical Opposition to Syrian Intervention.” Dr. Kidd, who teaches history at Baylor, highlights the remarkable unity of Christian groups across denominations and the political spectrum. He writes that some oppose the intervention merely because it is Obama who wants it; others are war-weary; while others have grown in their global consciousness. I am particularly interested by his comments about the waning of dispensationalism as a factor.

The second is Mark Nenadov’s “Against ‘Alienationism’” at Kuyperian Commentary. In this witty and literate piece, Nenadov argues that non-intervention is the better option than engaging in constant wars. I hope that his neologism, “Alienationism,” will enter our political language. It turns the tables on those who call non-interventionists “isolationists”; as though we were heartless geopolitical hermits who care little about what other nations think. The Alienationist is the one who puts his or her nation into a box of worldly contempt.

Both of these pieces give us much to think on in this horrible climate of war. Thankfully the Russians of all people (oh the irony!) have given the U.S. a diplomatic way out—let’s hope and pray that the U.S. uses it!