An Addendum to “Guns in the Bible”

I got email responses to my gun article from a number of very thoughtful people, among them a fantastic young systematic theologian. Their emails convinced me that I really needed to restate a few things for clarity’s sake, as this topic touches on much broader hermeneutical issues. Here’s how I would summarize my conclusions from those chats:

  1. Christians must do what the Bible commands.
  2. There are laws which would involve preventing us from doing what the Bible commands (like those which obstruct the exercise of our religion).
  3. Christians may not do what the Bible prohibits.
  4. There are laws which would involve us doing things the Bible prohibits (those which require Christians to perform abortions or conduct homosexual unions, for example).
  5. The Bible neither commands Christians to own firearms nor prohibits them from doing so.
  6. Because the Bible neither commands us to own firearms nor prohibits us from doing so, there’s not an official Christian position on it, so there is no conceivable gun policy which could encroach on an essential life practice of the Christian faith.
  7. For the same reason, it’s conceivable that two societies could chose different paths on the issue of firearms without either being necessarily less biblically informed.