Peacemaker

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An Abstract of The Peacemaker
Ken Sande. Grand Rapids, WI: Baker Books 1991

Christianity is a vital faith that takes human life head on.  Hardships, disagreements, arguments, broken relationships, hurt feelings, apologies, forgiveness—all of these are part of life as a Christian and as instruments for God’s hands to refine.  So the question is this:  If unity and peace are so vital to the witness of the church, yet their absence is so much a part of life, how do we then maintain them?  Ken Sande, a lawyer and committed Christian and member of his church, presents in his book The Peacemaker. I have found this book to be a practical, up-to-date guidebook to the Bible’s teaching on conflict resolution in the church.  Part one of the book encourages us as Christians to look at the unavoidable conflicts in our lives as opportunities to trust God, mature our faith in His provision, and ultimately glorify Him through our response.  Part two leads us to examine our own lives, teaches us to determine what situations are really worth fighting over, and gives some practical teaching on repentance.  Part three outlines Jesus’s teaching on conflict in Matthew 18, giving practical advice and examples on how one should approach a brother who has sinned; one should use the “two or three witnesses,”.  Part four offers a well-balanced study on forgiveness, and encourages Christians to “overcome evil with good.”  One of the best characteristics of Sande’s book is that it is distinctively and unapologetically Christian.  The entire first half of the book is an extended study of how conflict is uniquely handled in the Christian life. Sande writes on p. 25, “Most importantly, the Bible teaches that we should see conflict neither as an inconvenience nor as an occasion for selfish gain, but rather as an opportunity to demonstrate the presence and power of God.”  That is a welcome emphasis, and quite a different one from what the world would tell us.  Sande’s thoughts are...
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