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Blessed are the Peacemakers: Christ's Teachings of Love, Compassion, and Forgiveness
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Blessed are the Peacemakers: Christ's Teachings of Love, Compassion, and Forgiveness

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  158 ratings  ·  23 reviews
For two thousand years, artists, social and cultural activists, politicians and philosophers, humanists and devoted spiritual seekers have all looked to the sayings of Jesus for inspiration and instruction. Unfortunately, on occasions too frequent and destructive to enumerate, the teachings of Christ have been either ignored or distorted by the very people calling themselv ...more
Paperback, 80 pages
Published October 4th 2005 by Counterpoint (first published October 1st 2005)
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"How could a community founded on compassion and forgiveness become enflamed by intolerance?" For someone who has battled faith most my life, questions like this are the norm. I never doubted the wisdom or inspiration of Jesus's sayings, but rather the sincerity of so many who profess to follow them. In this short, lovely little book, Wendell Berry has selected some of Jesus's sayings on Love, Compassion and Forgiveness. The book closes with an essay by Wendell, 'The Burden of the Gospels'. It i ...more
This book took me less than a half an hour to read. I've been wanting to read something by Wendell Berry for quite some time now, so I took a shot at this one and got it on my Kindle. Essentially, Berry goes through the Gospels and finds all of the things that Jesus says about peace, forgiveness, love, and compassion. Then, the author writes a brief reflection on these passages. Berry asks anyone who professes to be a Christian to answer two questions: first, if you knew nothing at all about Jes ...more
Macaria Corbett
Berry tells us that the difficult passages of the Bible are not difficult because they are hard to understand. This small work is written with great fidelity to the Scripture as it is written. It is a very readable and worthwhile little book written by a man who generally only discusses theology through the guise of character and plot.
Wendell Berry's commentary has always been inspirational and instructive, and this summation into the teachings of Christ is no different. There is a deep devotion to peace and love based on the Gospels which every warmongering politician today would do good to reflect upon.
Stunning. The author's intro floored me.
This is 68 pages, so not much ground is covered, but it's still profound. Basically, Berry gives a short introduction about how Christians are not following the admonitions of Jesus regarding peace and forgiveness, then cites the main passages of each gospel that address this point, then gives some follow-up thoughts. It's more than worth reading.

Some of my favorite lines:

"Love is evidently not just a feeling but is indistinguishable from a willingness to help, to be useful to one another."

I've been reading this book aloud to my newborn daughter. (Not that she might comprehend, but to balance out all the "parentese" she hears. That is, to expose her to the full pulsation of gently rolling syllables, fluently played.) In the process I was refreshed by this convenient collection of Jesus' sayings on peacemaking. To the collection's credit it also contains those sayings of Christ which seemingly counter or condition the peacekeeping ethic. Another plus is the closing essay "The Burde ...more
Interesting analogy of the teaching of Christ. This book took all the places where Christ talks about loving your enemies or making peace. That is followed by an expository about why wars are a sin. Not sure I agree with the author... didn't God command the children of Israel to kill the people before they took the land in Canaan? The author did give some interesting insight into day by day living - are you making your family into enemies by the way that you treat them?
Asks two questions of us we might rather not answer.
Joe Johnson
Great brief read.
Jul 28, 2012 Matt rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: peace
This is a gathering of excerpts from the four Gospels, book-ended by an introduction and essay from Wendell Berry. I think this is a great approach to writing on this subject (and I suppose I really ought to give five stars to a book that mostly contains the words of Christ), but I was hoping that Berry's analysis would go a little bit deeper. His concluding essay, though very interesting, really only ambled around the subject at hand.
From the back of the book: "This book collects the sayings of Jesus selected by Wendell Berry, who has contributed two essays of introduction and context. Here is a way of peace, a challenge offered by the greatest spiritual teacher in the West, a book of inspiration, of prayerful compassion, and we may hope a call to action at a time when our country and the world it once led stand at a dangerous crossroads."
Especially among Christians in positions of wealth and power, the idea of reading the Gospels and keeping Jesus' commandments as stated therein has been replaced by a curious process of logic. According to this process, people first declare themselves to be followers of Christ, and then they assume that whatever they say or do merits the adjective "Christian".
Kirsten Kinnell
This is mainly a compilation of verses from the Gospels on, you guessed it, love, compassion and forgiveness. Although those are always interesting and relevant, I especially enjoyed the essay at the end. I have a feeling this is the beginning of a love affair of sorts-- it's like meeting someone new who somehow says exactly how you've been feeling. Ah, the thrill!
Jul 23, 2009 Jordan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
This book is only like 70 small pages. You could read it in half an hour. There's a brief intro then Berry goes through each gospel and highlights the verses where Jesus speaks about mercy and love (as the subtitle would imply). Then he reflects on it for about 20 pages. It was a very pleasant read.
J. Alfred
This is mainly a compilation of all of Jesus' teachings on how peace is better than violence. The teachings are sandwiched between two excellent essays by Berry, both of which are strong, challenging, and make me want to read more of him (he's a poet as well as an essayist).
Beautifully "gathered and introduced" by this wise and tender soul. A gentle and plain reminder of the profound burden of the Christian life: compassion and self-giving and finding the life of self in the life of the other.
Milan Homola
Nice tiny little book that gives you some thoughts to chew on
Profound and extremely convicting in its simplicity and straightforwardness.
It's a short book that takes all of the passages in the gospels dealing with peace and then Berry adds some of his own thoughts.
very short. powerful introduction/conclusion essays. one I might read once a week for a while, as I'd like to be a peacemaker.
Not what I expected: this is a selection of quotations from the Bible, not Berry's interpretations of Christ's teaching.
"To the offer of more abundant life, we have chosen to respond with the economics of extinction." - Wendell Berry
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Wendell Berry is a conservationist, farmer, essayist, novelist, professor of English and poet. He was born August 5, 1934 in Henry County, Kentucky where he now lives on a farm. The New York Times has called Berry the "prophet of rural America."
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“Especially among Christians in positions of wealth and power, the idea of reading the Gospels and keeping Jesus' commandments as stated therein has been replaced by a curious process of logic. According to this process, people first declare themselves to be followers of Christ, and then they assume that whatever they say or do merits the adjective "Christian".” 107 likes
“We don't need much imagination to imagine that to be free of hatred, of enmity, of the endless and hopeless effort to oppose violence with violence, would be to have life more abundantly. To be free of indifference would be to have life more abundantly. To be free of the insane rationalizations for our desire to kill one another-that surely would be to have life more abundantly.” 0 likes
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