The Christian Studies Blog


Dr. Jeremy Stirm

Jeremy S. Stirm is a military chaplain with the Texas Army National Guard and has served as an adjunct professor at Austin area seminaries. Jeremy graduated from the University of Mobile with a B.A. in religion and philosophy in 1998. He went on to complete a M.A. in theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2001 and a Th.M. from Duke University Divinity School in 2006. He earned a Ph.D. in theology and ethics from Baylor University in 2014. His research interests include the ethics of war and peace and the moral trauma sometimes experienced in conflict. He has served as a youth pastor and senior pastor in churches in Alabama, North Carolina, and Texas.

Recent Posts

Helping Veterans on the Road to Healing

Posted by Dr. Jeremy Stirm on May 25, 2017 at 9:30 AM

At the risk of oversimplifying, Christians have at their disposal at least three ethical views concerning the use of force, namely, pacifism, Christian realism, and the just war tradition.  To be sure each of these views has various shades.  There are pacifists with just war sympathies, just warriors with realist tendencies, etc.  The issues surrounding the ethical use of force, or if the use of force is even ethical at all, are both highly nuanced and very important.  The debates between the various proponents of these views in academia have become rather complex and, at times, nasty.  One simply needs to do a search for articles on the just war tradition or the ethical use of force in such periodicals as First Things to see that the literature is voluminous and, in places, garish.  I think some of this boorish behavior needs to change and the energy required to sustain it needs refocusing.

I do not fault individuals for being passionate about their positions concerning the use of force.  I rather encourage it.  To be blunt, we are talking about the taking of human life after all, not an inconsequential debate, to say the least.  To be sure, there is value in pacifists attempting to keep Christian realists and just warriors honest and that pacifists be made to explain their position on various levels.  However, there does seem to be a bit of an impasse in the discussions.

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