Fighting for Peace (Frames Series): Your Role in a Culture Too Comfortable with Violence

Fighting for Peace (Frames Series): Your Role in a Culture Too Comfortable with Violence

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There are lots of questions we must ask ourselves when we talk about violence, and our role in perpetuating it or in creating peace. Why are we, as Christians, more comfortable with violence in our movies than sex? What does it mean that Jesus called us to love our enemies? How can we, in our churches, cultivate a peace that might reshape society? Do we create it by constantly protesting violence? By preaching? By rethinking our foreign policy? By somehow making peace cool?

Join Tyler Wigg-Stevenson and Carol Howard Merritt as they tackle these tough questions and others in this Barna Frame. Violence is a tough, timely topic, and one that we, as the Church, have the chance to transform.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310433460
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication date: 01/07/2014
Series: Frames
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 96
File size: 3 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

Read an Excerpt



By Carol Howard Merritt, Tyler Wigg-Stevenson, Stephan Joubert


Copyright © 2013 Barna Group
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-310-43345-3



Your Role in a Culture Too Comfortable with Violence


A growing UNEASE

While violence may seem like it's on the rise, so is people's discomfort about it. Nearly half of Americans say they've grown less comfortable with violence in the last decade. When asked what their top two concerns are when it comes to violence, adults identified the above.


Your Role in a Culture Too Comfortable with Violence



Violence is more pervasive than anyone cares to admit. You don't have to look hard to see the presence of violence in society today—from video games, television, and movies to war in far-off countries; from domestic violence to mass shootings in sleepy, upscale towns.

And because everyone has some sort of connection to the ugly topic of violence, arguments erupt over things like gun control, the effect of violent media on public attitudes and personal behaviors, the morality of drone strikes, and more.

The Relevance of Violence

The issues are complex and the answers far from simple; not surprisingly, Barna's FRAMES research revealed that many people struggle with this issue. We have produced this FRAME to provide insights on some of the most troubling aspects of violence, especially those that touch many of our lives:

Violent entertainment: The catalysts of popular culture—including music, television, movies, video gaming, and (often) sports—continue to mine violence for mindshare. Just think about the rise of blockbuster movies and television programs that literally need violence to progress their plots (e.g., movies like Gladiator and Hunger Games, television programs like Breaking Bad and CSI, games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft). Violence has become big business. As residents of a global culture that is enraptured with violent entertainment, how can we fight for peace?

Video games: Today's youngest generations, including children, teens, and young adults, are particularly captivated by today's violent media, especially video games. If you are one of these teenagers or twentysomethings, how can you fight for peace when media make violence so easy to "play"?

Parents and violence: Among parents of this emerging generation, how can you fight for peace in this immersive media world of pixelated violence? And how can you send your children out into a world where violence threatens them in new and more intimate ways—from their schools to the movie theater?

The "just" use of force: Living in a free society is made possible by the rule of law and the appropriate use of violent force, whether by law enforcement or military. How can those who work in these arenas—police officers, soldiers, lawyers, judges, military chaplains, etc. — fight for peace?

Victims and doers of violence: Millions of people have been the victim of violence. Others have personally committed a violent act. Perhaps your experience with violence was private. Or maybe your community recently suffered a public display of violence. How can you fight for peace while being haunted by these acts?

Christians and violence: Finally, Christians represent an enormous part of the world's population—including a majority of the US population. As the globe's most powerful nation—one that is often more militaristic than we care to admit—what does it mean for Christ-followers in the United States to fight for peace—to support biblical policies and practices?

Violence in Numbers

The statistics related to violence are horrific: The number of homicides. The incidences of rape, domestic violence, battlefield casualties. But simply scrutinizing the numbers can mask the human side of humanity's impulse to harm others.

Our FRAMES research reveals nearly half of all adults today (47%) feel less comfortable with violence than they did 10 years ago. This increased discomfort is even more pronounced among women (55%), practicing Christians (59%), and the elderly (63%). However, the research also revealed one out of eight adults (12%) say they have become more comfortable with violence in recent years. This number is highest among Millennials—a full 20% of whom admit they are less sensitive to violence than they used to be. Despite the sheer volume of violence in entertainment as well as news reports about violent acts, a significant number of adults (42%) say their attitudes toward violence have not changed in the last ten years.

If violence is of increasing concern to most people, what tops their list of worries? About one-third of adults list bullying (36%), gangs (34%), domestic violence (33%), and foreign conflict (32%) as their top areas of concern. Among practicing Christians, two issues were more pronounced than among the general population: domestic violence and violence in entertainment.

With many sources putting the rate of domestic violence against women as high as one in four women, Christians have a good reason to be concerned.


Excerpted from FIGHTING FOR PEACE by Carol Howard Merritt, Tyler Wigg-Stevenson, Stephan Joubert. Copyright © 2013 Barna Group. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Why You Need Frames, 7,
• Before You Read, 12,
• Infographics, 13,
• Framework BY BARNA GROUP, 19,
• After You Read, 88,
• Share This Frame, 89,

About the Research, 90,

About Barna Group, 91,

Thanks, 92,

Notes, 94,

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