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A Biblical Defense of Self-Defense

to_keepI have written many articles on gun control. As a book reviewer, I am especially interested in new books on gun control. I have in front of me a review copy of To Keep or Not to Keep: Why Christians Should Not Give up Their Guns, by Chuck and Timothy Baldwin. I have read the book. Although I had intended to review the book, I am instead just mentioning it here since the authors are Christian conservatives. The reason I am not reviewing the book is because it is not actually about gun control as the title implies. The book is a biblical defense of self-defense.

Although the authors do say: “Scriptures support man’s right to keep and bear arms; and as such, Christians must not give up necessary and proportional means of self-defense,” the opening line in chapter 1 makes it clear what the book is really about: “This book concerns a simple yet profound issue. Does Scripture support or deny the right of self-defense; and thus, should Christians protect that right even in the face of government opposition?” Guns are hardly mentioned in the book. As I have seen little written from a Christian perspective on the natural and biblical right of self-defense, I recommend the book to those who are interested in that subject.

The authors occasionally raise some good points:

Jesus did not command Peter to give up his sword or right to use it.

In every instance where “love thy neighbor” is mentioned, it is always followed by “as thyself.”

Unfortunatley, I don’t consider the writing and the formatting of the book to be as good. And some of the Scripture verses quoted are a bit stretched, and especially the few word studies. I think the authors made a noble attempt to present a biblical defense of self-defense; I just think the title should have been more indicative of the book’s contents.

For a recent review of To Keep or Not to Keep, see the one by Joe Wolverton for the New American.

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