We are continuing the Q&A between myself and prolific theologian, author, professor and blogger, Scot McKnight, about his new book, One.Life. You can check out a number of his award winning books and blog here.
Andrew’s Question: I thought your short chapter titled Peace.Life was very direct. Let me summarize some of your thoughts… Jesus’ version of peace was a very Jewish version of peace (shalom) that was based on: material prosperity; loving relationships with God, family, Israel and other nations; and moral goodness and integrity. You mention that peace is a result and not a goal—peace is the result of years in good relationships as the result of love. “People who want peace but who aren’t willing to love will not find peace” (p. 73). Based on Jesus’ teachings, how do you see warring or opposing communities finding the will and strength to come to the table to seek a result of peace?
Scot’s Response: I’ll put this down right away: it’s OK to sit down at table to seek peace.
But seeking peace won’t necessarily bring us peace.
To get peace we have to learn to love our neighbor; to get peace we have to love our enemies.In other words, we need to realize that the big table of peace is in a home whose door is called “love your neighbor, love your enemy.” Until we walk through that door, we’ll never get to the room or to the table.
I’ll put it this way: many people want peace but they are sitting at picnic tables in the park chatting away. The only way to get to peace is to love, and that means love our neighbor and love our enemy. And it means being willing to be “with” that person as someone who is “for” that person in the way of Jesus Christ.
In our communities we need to have people sit down with one another, but they won’t get to peace until they are willing to love that other person for that person’s good. Until they honor the person as someone who is worthy of my “with-ness” and “for-ness” and not just as someone I’d like to get persuaded to my way of things.
Do I have a witness?
Most definitely Scot! You’ve got a witness