By Walter Wink

Greater than ever, Walter Wink believes, the Christian culture of nonviolence is required as a substitute to the dominant and death-dealing "powers" of our consumerist tradition and fractured global. during this small ebook Wink deals a summary of his entire wondering this factor, together with the relation of Jesus and his message to politics and nonviolence, the historical past of nonviolent efforts, and the way nonviolence can win the day while others do not hesitate to inn to violence or terror to accomplish their goals.

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Britain's Indian colony of three hun­ dred million people was liberated nonvi­ olently at a cost of about eight thousand l ives. The British apparently suffered not a single casualty, dead or wounded. 19 It took twenty-seven years (1 91 9-46). France's Algerian colony of about ten million was liberated in seven years (1 955-61 ) by violence, but it cost almost one million lives. The staggering differ­ ential in l ives lost certainly cannot be as­ cribed to the French being more barb aric or determined to keep their colony than the British.

Sadly, Jesus' three examples have been turned into laws, with no reference to the utterly changed contexts in which they were being applied. His attempt to nerve the powerless to assert their humanity under inhuman conditions has been turned into a legalistic prohibition on schoolyard fistfights between peers. Paci­ fists and those who rej ect pacifism alike have tended to regard Jesus' infmitely malleable insights as iron rules, the one group urging that they be observed in­ flexibly, the other treating them as im­ possible demands intended to break us 33 34 Walter W i n k and catapult us into the arms of grace.

This confused Ham somewhat; by the end of the season he lost his taste for taunts. It was not until four years later that I suddenly woke to the realization that I had not loved Ham into changing. The fact was, I hated his guts. It might have been far more creative for me to have challenged him to a fistfight. Then he would have had to deal with me as an equal. But I was afraid to fight him, though the fight would probably have been a draw. I was scared I might get 35 36 Walter Wink hurt. " Otherwise our nonviolence may ac­ tually be a mask for cowardice, as it most certainly was for me.

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