One day a few weeks ago, I was on John Howard Yoder kick, needing desperately, to sip some Nonviolent theology kool-aid, when I came across this quote in For the Nations: Essays Public and Evangelical,
“Love is power when it denies the enemy, the oppressor, the last word in defining his relation to us. Community is power.” (page 229)
Usually, I have a rather easy time understanding where JHY is coming from, but at first I had a hard time deciphering what he meant by “community is power.”
Enter Elizabeth A. Johnson, C.S.J.:
“Sophia-God is in solidarity with those who suffer as a mystery of empowerment. With moral indignation, concern for broken creation, and a sympathy calling for justice, the power of God’s compassionate love enters the pain of the world to transform it from within.” (She Who Is, page 170).
I think it is no coincidence that Johnson goes on to argue in the subsequent sentences in favor of non-violent action, which I should note is quite different from Yoder’s all too not-popular concept of non-resistant love, still emphasizes enemy love and peace-making as part of Christian discipleship.