Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Book Review: A Time to Kill (The Myth of Christian Pacifism)

A Time to Kill 
(The Myth of Christian Pacifism) 
Greg Hopkins, paperback, 302 pages,  $19.95

I was an agnostic/practicing atheist for 40 years.  I have been an active Christian for a little over 4 years.  When Greg Hopkins approached me at the Gun Rights Policy Conference in Tampa, Florida, two months ago, I welcomed the opportunity to read his book and write a review.

I do not write book reviews unless I have actually read the book. Readers might be surprised to know that many reviews are written by authors, as a favor to people who the author wishes to "review" the book.  The "reviewer" then reads the review, and approves of it (or not).

This book is not one to be read over a weekend. It took me a month of reading and digestion to finish it. I normally read a novel in a day or two. This book is not an adventure novel.

I liked Greg's fictionalization and embellishment of a couple of biblical accounts, as a literary device to make and emphasize particular points.  They were easy reading, but they are a small part of the book.  A Time to Kill is a deep level study of the biblical perspective on the use of deadly force, both individually, and collectively in war.

The book covers, but does not place undue emphasis on, Jesus' order to his disciples to obtain weapons in Luke.  One chapter, 23, out of 27, is devoted to the subject.  The Old Testament is covered in considerable detail.

I particularly enjoyed Greg's account of how the two Roman centurions mentioned in the New Testament were treated.  Centurions were Roman military officers. As a former U.S. Army officer, I could relate.

The first centurion mentioned in the bible has a conversation directly with Jesus. Jesus praises him for his faith. The second and his household were chosen as the first Gentiles to become Christians.  Neither was commanded to give up their profession of arms.

Greg has been a lawyer for most of his adult life.  His everyday experience is used to illustrate Christian and legal doctrine.  He shows the biblical basis for most of the law on the use of force in the United States.  He gives sound advice on both the use of force and how to avoid having to use force.

I recommend the book to anyone who wants more than a superficial look at biblical teaching of Christian morality on the use of deadly force.  I found it well worth while.

The book is available in both soft cover and in electronic format on Kindle for 19.95 at

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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Anonymous said...

I have been studying my way through the old testament for the last several months. I was very surprised to find my Idea of self defense is well supported. I have maybe been through the new and old testaments three times but this time I am going slowly trying to absorb it all. The old testament is history and the new testament is law. The framers based the constitution on Christian doctrine and principle. and the Supreme court ruled in the trinity decision of 1892 that this country is a Christian nation. It is my understanding that the immigration law of 1952 forbids Islamists from migrating to this country. the many reasons are very detailed. the primary reason is their religion of so called peace requires them to kill Christians. we are a whole nation of fish in a barrel. I have been casting bullets all morning, should they be needed.

Anonymous said...

I have a six cavity .355 9mm mould it is surprising how fast You can cast up several hundred rounds. My two cavity moulds are slower but the .357 .308 .458 sill turn out a lot of rounds in a hurry with a ten pound pot. I think it is far more relaxing than golf and you have far more to show for your effort than bent clubs and grass stains. the equipment is less expensive and longer lasting than golf. if you drop a cast bullet you re melt it you do not throw it away because of a slice mark. and you do not have to wear one of those stupid looking golf hats. or display your knobby knees in Bermuda shorts. No bench fees as opposed to greens fees. No waiting on someone to play through, you only yell four for fun and no dodging required. throwing your dies in the water hazard is not recommended. your easy chair never runs out of gas or electrical charge. the only muscle strain might be from stacking your filled ammo cans. No leg cramps no sunburn and never cast bullets in the rain. remember the nineteenth hole is always after the fun.

Dean Weingarten said...

I like bullet casting myself.

Just be careful about good ventilation, and remember that you are dealing with molten metal.

Getting lead poisoning or nasty burns are no fun.

I have had a few very minor burns, but that was all.

Anonymous said...

I do most of my casting out side and always drink some milk afterwards to stave off the lead residue that may have been inhaled or enter cuts. Milk pulls the lead out of your system. My Dog always lays by me so I feed her milk too.

Anonymous said...

Wheel weights are not good for casting bullets because they are too hard, but if you keep the temperature up and stir the post the zinc and trash in the weights will come to the top and you can skim it off. The last batch I worked up I melted and recast three times. Now it is soft enough to make good bullets. when the dullness leaves and the casting start to shine like silver and you can make a mark with your finger nail in the cold bar it should be soft enough. I have about 300 one pound bars clean enough to cast good bullets with. I plan to get about 45 or more 357, 162 grain bullets per bar. but I have about ten different calibers. the next mould I want to get is the 230 grain .45acp.