The Applied Arm of the Centre focuses on offering resources to the churches. We believe that the question of biblical violence is one of the pressing issues facing the church in our generation, for two reasons.

Firstly, in UK churches (and beyond) there is a growing lack of confidence in the value of the Old Testament, or in the goodness of God. This can amount to a significant pastoral or even missional problem. Understanding how the Old Testament affirms the goodness of God as much as the New Testament does is an important apologetic issue. We do not believe that we have all the answers to this (though we continue to seek further truth as we study), but we do believe that there is a great deal that can be said to help Christians to think the matter through faithfully.

Secondly, the use of biblical text to ‘justify’ violence has been both a historic and contemporary problem. The Bible has been co-opted for the cause of genocide, domestic violence, racism, slavery, extreme nationalism and various forms of discrimination. We are very disturbed by this and convinced that a faithful, careful reading of scripture leads to peace, generosity and welcome. We seek to help the Church to discover and live by this divine counter-narrative of peace.

In due course, we hope to offer study materials and articles of relevance to ministers, churches, and activists, and to campaigners who might find it useful to have some biblical reflection on the issues they are dealing with. We are particularly keen to build international links to help resource churches in areas of conflict or tension.

Some of these projects are already under way, but we welcome suggestions of topics that it would be useful to produce materials on; and invitations to speak or preach. Please get in touch with the Director on paynterh@bristol-baptist.ac.uk

Existing resources can be found here.

On 4th June 2019 the Applied Arm of the Centre is holding its launch workshop at Bristol Baptist College. All who are interested in the subject are warmly invited to come and contribute. Our target audience is ministers, activists and other interested parties. Unlike the academic symposium on 17th June, this event will be accessible for those who do not have academic theological qualifications. For more information, please click here.