A Biblical Perspective of Self-Defense and Civil Disobedience

A Book Review

A review by O. W. Shumaker, author of Anna’s Bear: 5 Days of Moral Conflict And Pursuit, Nazi Germany, 1939 (Amazon link)

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At one point in my life I had to face the possibility of being arrested for physically-opposing laws that I consider to be immoral.

And later on, for the sake of protecting my family, I became a gun owner.

So I was somewhat anxious when I discovered A Biblical Perspective of Self-Defense and Civil Disobedience by Larry Fox and sat down to read it. Was I going to discover I had made ethical errors with my commitments? Violated, perhaps, the very principles by which I try my best to live? I have strong beliefs about my Christian faith and how I live it out in day-to-day life, so I have always been interested in any discussion about action grounded in Scripture, and ethical guidelines drawn from the resulting biblical theology.

So as I read I was very relieved and pleased to discover that Mr. Fox demonstrates in his book the following qualities:

  • He has an excellent understanding of the Bible.
  • He is very capable interpreter of Scripture.
  • He knows how to apply, with deep understanding, the extracted meaning of Scripture to difficult life decisions.

That is to say, he is a deeply spiritual and highly intelligent student of the Bible; he is very capable biblical theologian; and he is a profound Christian ethicist.

This book set my mind at ease, not so much by simply affirming my decisions, but more by giving me ways to evaluate those decisions, find areas where my thinking has been strong, as well as areas where I simply have not thought enough. He doesn’t preach. He helps you to think soundly. Superb.

I believe this book can help Christians and non-Christians alike work through decisions about civil disobedience and self-defense, and perhaps, as for me, an approach to gun ownership and gun use. It certainly helped me, and I believe can help anyone who has an open and inquiring mind.

This is an excellent read and an extremely useful study guide. I highly recommend it.

Five stars, without reservation.