Jason B. Ladd

Author | Apologist | Entrepreneur

Just War Theory and Evangelism Part 5: Jus post Bellum

post bellum

Marines in Iraq

Today’s post is part 5 in a 5-part series relating components of just war theory to the field of evangelism.

We’ll continue to juxtapose physical and spiritual warfare by comparing the rightness of waging war with the rightness of sharing your faith.

Here is a review of the concepts covered in this series (click on each concept to review the previous posts):

This post covers jus post bellum, or the “rightness after the war.”

Before you go to war, it’s your responsibility to have considered how you will get out of the war.  Civilian leadership is largely responsible for jus post bellum considerations when a nation makes plans for war.

The bottom line is that you must have envisioned the direction of the campaign as well as its aftermath.

The same holds true when you share your faith with someone with different beliefs than your own.  Simply sharing is great, and lifestyle evangelism is important.  But you might be able to make an immediate impact by giving some thought to what you’re trying to accomplish with the exchange:

  • Do you already know their worldview, or do you need them to explain further?
  • Do you have a grasp on the tenets of their worldview, or are you making false assumptions?
  • Is it more important to pull information from them, or push them information about yourself?
  • What’s your desired end-state for the conversation?  The year?  A lifetime?

In the world of blogging there are creatures known as “trolls.”  They are the people who make comments that are arrogant, rude, snarky, mean, or create incitement.  In short, they’re more concerned about stirring up the pot than making a valuable contribution to the discussion.

It’s like throwing a grenade into a crowded room and then telling everyone to just deal with it.

post bellumDepending on your worldview, your argument may be more coherent than the other person’s argument.  But you can’t be a troll.  You shouldn’t drop logic bombs without first knowing how you’ll clean up the mess.

I am a strong believer in the head informing the heart, not the other way around.  

Someone asked me recently, “If we’re not supposed to follow our heart, then what are emotions and feelings for?”

I think emotions are vital to accepting truth.  Reason and logic are important for an individual to determine truth from fiction.  Reason and logic will give a person some things to consider.

But emotions and feelings are what ultimately find a place for truth in the human heart.

After the war comes reconstruction.  After the exchange comes reconciliation.

You must prepare for both before the exchange of weapons and words.

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Photo credit: myglesias / Foter / CC BY-SA

Photo credit: seanhorgan / Foter / CC BY-SA

Photo credit: The U.S. Army / Foter / CC BY



About Jason B. Ladd

Jason is an author, speaker, Marine, and father of seven. He has flown the F/A-18 Hornet as a Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 (MAWTS-1) Instructor Pilot and the F-16 as an Instructor Pilot. His award-winning book One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview has been optioned for film adaptation. He is represented by Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency.

5 Replies

  1. alan

    Interesting article, Jason. Thank you for sharing… There is one part that especially caught my attention: You say you’re “a strong believer in the head informing the heart, not the other way around.” But, and this is only my opinion, it is because we let the head inform the heart that we sin. Our head is where spiritual warfare takes place, hence the least peaceful place to make the right decisions. On the other hand, it is when we come to the presence of the Lord in prayer to ask for advice in order to make the right decision that our heart plays a critical role in our life. Moreover, if we let our head inform our heart, I don’t think many people would receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior because faith does not come from our head but from a humble and “coachable” heart.

    1. Alan, Wonderful points about the heart. It’s easy to take a hard line on one or the other too quickly, but God gave us both to serve His purposes. You’re right, sometimes too much thinking can get us into trouble, but too much prayer never hurts.

  2. Good post; on another note, I love LAVs!