The Non-Violent God


From Kelly Brown Douglas’ Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God: “This brings us to… [an] interrelated aspect of God’s resurrecting power. It is nonviolent. There is no doubt that the cross reflects the depth and scope of human violence. The cross in this respect represents the consuming violence of the world. It points to a world that is saturated with violence. This violence includes not simply the physical brutality meant to harm bodies, but also the systems, structures, narratives, and constructs that do harm. Anything that would devalue the life of another is violent. God enters into this world of violence, yet God does not take it into God’s self. Thus, God responds to the violence of the world not in an eye-for-an-eye manner. Instead, God responds in a way that negates and denounces the violence that perverts and demeans the integrity of human creation. Thus, through the resurrection, God responds to the violence of the cross—the violence of the world—in a nonviolent but forceful manner. It is important to understand that nonviolence is not the same as passivity or accommodation to violence. Rather, it is a forceful response that protects the integrity of life. Violence seeks to do another harm, while nonviolence seeks to rescue others from harm. It seeks to break the very cycle of violence itself. The forces of nonviolence actually reveal the impotence of violent power. Ironically, the nonviolent power of God is revealed through the violence of the cross. But this is essential. That God could defeat the unmitigated violence of the cross reveals the consummate power of the nonviolent, life-giving force that is God.”


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