About This Issue
Peacemaking, like a Bach sonata or a Philly cheese steak, is uncontroversially good. Everyone is for it; nobody (crazies aside) is against it. Other activities to which Christians are called can easily arouse opposition: pressing for justice, seeking purity of heart, speaking the plain truth, or living in voluntary poverty. But who will hate a peacemaker? In our live-and-let-live, so-long-as-it-doesn’t-hurt-anyone culture, peace seems like something we can all agree on.
And so it should be – as long as we remember what peace asks of us. The contributors to this issue of Plough Quarterly show us what peacemaking looks like. Of course, they can only offer us views from this or that particular angle – the topic is too big for tidy theories. Still, a rich and challenging picture emerges. Peacemaking, these stories and reflections show, is a more ambitious undertaking, and a riskier one, than we may have imagined.
Yet peacemakers are urgently needed, just as they always have been. Today we must wage peace where thousands of children are being murdered by militias or forced to fight as soldiers. We are to be peacemakers in divided cities from Paris to Baltimore, peacemakers in a culture with little tolerance for Christian witness, and peacemakers in churches riven by ideological fights and petty grudges. We are to make and keep peace with our spouses, and with ourselves.
“Blessed are the peacemakers” turns out to be no warm and fuzzy slogan, then. It’s a promise of an upended world. And it’s a calling for which we must be willing to chance everything.
How should we pursue peace? The contributors here don’t all agree with each other, nor will you with all of them. Our goal is to seek the truth together. We look forward to hearing from you.
Peter Mommsen, Editor
Front cover photograph by Kyrre Lien, www.kyrrelien.com.