No Gods but One

Daniel Berrigan, Author . Eerdmans $15 (184p) ISBN 978-0-8028-6462-8

Legendary peace activist Berrigan examines the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy through the lens of his personal abhorrence of war in this biblical commentary. Although Deuteronomy is largely the code of laws given to the Jewish people, Berrigan, a Catholic priest, finds something more—a prophetic justification for excoriating those who choose the “other god” of warfare. Employing poetry and free-flowing streams of prose, he weighs the choice Christians face between Deuteronomy’s story and the New Testament gospel. “An interminable debate ensues,” he writes. “Which deity to serve?” Too often, he concludes, the choice becomes the “god” of war, whether by secular leaders claiming to be Christian and blinded by the “idols” of defense, prosperity or national interests or by bishops who endorse the military actions initiated by political leaders. Berrigan observes that a “close connection between crime and consequence” runs through Deuteronomy, and he strongly suggests that by going along with the “culture of death” in the matter of war, Christians may see their religion rotting before their eyes. Thought-provoking reading will be of special interest to those sympathetic to Berrigan’s uncompromising political views. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 10/12/2009
Release date: 10/01/2009
Genre: Nonfiction
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