Peace like a Diamond
Christopher C. Walker, Spectrum Publications, $24.95
If the “genie in the bottle” gave us each three wishes, my guess is that many of us would give one wish over to world peace.
Such is the desire, yet the seeming impossibility, for real peace in our world.
The title of this book picks up not only the desirability of peace but also the complexity of the task of achieving peace personally, in relationships, in our communities, our society and the cosmos.
In reflecting on peace in this range of dimensions, Walker draws on a wide range of current thinking in psychology and sociology as well as his own biblical and theological knowledge and understanding.
Walker encourages us to think of peace more broadly than simply the cessation or absence of hostilities.
Instead, he draws on a biblical understanding of shalom — a positive state of wellbeing which is bound up in justice and righteousness for individuals and nations.
In a challenge to many church congregations, he also reminds us that “the avoidance of conflict does not lead to peace if there are issues that need to be dealt with” and, in an excellent section on forgiveness, that forgiveness is not the same as acceptance, excusing, tolerating or forgetting, nor does it mean demanding that a person changes before we forgive them or pretending that it doesn’t matter.
Peace Like a Diamond re-minds us that we are called to be a people of peace. Not an easy peace but one that comes from a genuine engagement in the issues, respect of others, and a willingness to appreciate another’s perspective.