The Peacemaker sounds a bit like an action movie starring George Clooney, which it is, but it is also an excellent book on Biblical peacemaking by Ken Sande. I’ve been reading the book over the last few weeks and I think it has some great principles for helping Christians to work through conflicts wherever they may face them, from marriage to neighbours to the workplace.
The book outlines a four step process for resolving conflict as follows:
- Glorify God. Biblical Peacemaking is motivated and guided by a deep desire to bring honor to god by revealing the reconciling love and power of Jesus Christ….
- Get the log out of your eye. Attacking others only invites counterattacks. This is why Jesus teaches us to face up to our own contributions to a conflict before we focus on what others have done….
- Gently restore. When others fail to see their contributions to a conflict, we sometimes need to graciously show them their fault….
- Go and be reconciled. Finally, peacemaking involves a commitment to restoring damaged relationships and negotiating just agreements…
Real strengths of this book are that it tries to take a distinctively God and Gospel centred approach to conflict resolution – something seriously needed in our culture. It is also extremely practical and makes all kinds of suggestions for things like insurance claims against other Christians and seeking damages from the government/large corporations. Whether or not you agree with all the suggestions he makes, it is great that he tries to take a consistent approach to the nuts and bolts of conflict in 21st century western culture. On the whole I think he succeeds.
A minor reservation about the book is the occasional forced use of Bible passages to establish that a particular approach is Biblical. However on the whole I highly recommend this book as a resource, and I am currently seeking to put some of the principles into practice in some situations I’m working with.