Saturday, October 14, 2006

CT's Top Fifty

Everybody enjoys lists of the top 10 of this or that (Well, maybe not everybody). Christianity Today offers a catalog of the top fifty books which have shaped the lives and thinking of Evangelicals. As with any such list you'll feel that they left some books off that they should have listed, including classics like Pilgrim's Progress and In His Steps, and that they included some that they shouldn't have. If you're an evangelical Christian and a reader - and if you're the first then surely you're the second - give it a look and see what you think.

Just War in an Age of Jihad

A friend links us to this article by David Aikman who writes that the moral criteria Just War thinking are teetering on the brink of obsolescence in an age in which one side regards such criteria with disdain. He argues that we must not discard the principles of Just War but that we need to rethink what "Just War" means in an age of jihad:

Just war principles work successfully only among nations that acknowledge the same moral laws at work, as in Europe, for example, in general before World War I. Now, however, we are all in a wider and starker conflict, in which ruthless Islamic ideologists are prepared to immolate their own children for the sake of ultimate victory. We should not be pressured by the enormity of the challenge they pose to civilized life to abandon our own rules of "just war." But we need to think through-and make public-how to cope with guerrilla adversaries who operate according to barbaric and totalitarian rules. Civilization is at stake-not only ours, but the world's. Do we have the moral imagination to oppose such adversaries without compromising the very integrity we fight to protect?

For my part I'm not sure exactly which Just War criteria are threatened by the Islamist assault upon the West (See here for a helpful discussion of Just War theory). I do agree, however, that we need to rethink some aspects of Just War theory. For instance, we need to clarify the concept of proportionate response, the question of who is a non-combatant, and what constitutes torture, but I agree with Aikman that the tradition of Just War and the principles which comprise it should not be abandoned.

Walid Shoebat

There is a CNN interview with Walid Shoebat at Hot Air that everyone should watch. Shoebat was a Palestinian terrorist who renounced terrorism and now tours the U.S. trying to educate Americans on the nature of Islamic jihad. It's a powerful piece.

Shoebat spoke last Wednesday night at Columbia University which, still smarting from the criticism they got for their miserable response to the near riot that prevented Minuteman Jim Gilchrist from speaking, decided to rescind some 77 invitations and admit only Columbia students to the lecture.

This was a very unpopular move (some are calling it gutless) since they withdrew the invitations by e-mail just two hours or so before the lecture, but at least the students at Columbia were able to hear him speak.

The Daily Infidel has an excellent report of the event at which Shoebat appeared. Apparently several former terrorists who have converted to Christianity told their stories and gave their opinions of modern Islam. There were a number of remarkable things said that evening, but one of the most interesting was a reply by one of the panelists to a questioner who pointed out that most Muslims, even clergy, are moderate. The former terrorist, a man who said that he had killed 233 people by the time he was 16, replied, "If you think your imam is moderate, ask him what would happen if his son converted to Christianity."

There's much more at The Daily Infidel.