Wright surveys the way the early church viewed war. He demonstrates how complex the views were during the period of the early martyrs, i.e. the first three centuries. The prominence of idolatry in the Roman army complicated the attitudes of Christians. The church did not function with a worked-out public ethics.
This article wants to come to a biblical-theological perspective on war and peace. It starts by looking at Yahweh as a warrior God and war as a theme in the Old Testament. The impact of the teaching and person of Jesus Christ, who brought a new relationship between Israel and the nations, is considered next. Then follows a consideration of the early church's view of the Christian as a citizen of two "kingdoms" or "communities." Next, it notes the contributions of some modern theologians on the topic.
This paper reflects on Karl Barth's treatment of war in his Church Dogmatics. It indicates that this is in part a reflection of Barth's personal experience of World War I. It gives Barth's theological basis for his response to war. A final section of the essay deals with the contemporary relevance of Barth's view.