Gun Violence Prevention

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Is Gun Violence a Christian Concern?

Religious opinions on the use of firearms in self-defense vary widely, from anti-gun pacifism to a biblical obligation to preserve life. The Institute understands that guns are not just about the Second Amendment, legislation, and court opinions. Our focus sees gun access, gun ownership, gun use, and gun violence as moral subjects deserving of religious and ethical examination and action.

God and Guns in America

How should Christians think and act when it comes to guns and gun ownership?

God and Guns in America, by Michael W. Austin, provides a thoughtful, measured, robust, and articulate biblical treatment of an issue that is too often treated with more heat than light. This book is for anyone who wants to consider the issue of guns in America from a Christian perspective—whether they are gun owners themselves or not.

Michael W. Austin (Ph.D., University of Colorado) is a Professor of Philosophy at Eastern Kentucky University, President of the Evangelical Philosophical Society, and Senior Fellow with The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute. Austin has published many books and articles on ethical and religious questions. More information is available at michaelwaustin.com.

“In this book, Professor Michael Austin treats the question of Christians and guns in relation to the will of God for humanity, what it means to be a faithful disciple of Christ, and the ethical obligations of a Christian.” – Rev. Rob Schenck

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God and Guns in America
God and Guns in America Discussion and Study Guide

God and Guns in America: Book Study and Discussion Guide

Exclusively available for FREE through The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute

This Discussion and Study Guide is a companion to Michael W. Austin’s book, God and Guns in America, that can be utilized for individual reflection and study or as a group discussion regarding the key points and themes found in the chapters of the book.

Uniquely written and formatted to enable the reader to focus on important facts, Scriptures, and thoughts surrounding:

  • The history of guns in America and the Christian community
  • The right to own a gun and the difference between legal and moral
  • The lies and bad arguments that too often define the gun debate
  • Violence, guns, and the Gospel
  • The Bible as a defender of guns? The “Sword” and other Scripture passages
  • Christ’s example and the impact of guns on godly character
  • More than thoughts and prayers – what is a Christian to do?

This 40-page Discussion and Study Guide is filled with crucial facts, meaningful quotes, engaging questions, inspiring reflection, and interactive discussion points to help individuals or groups learn how to engage on the issue of guns and gun violence from a Christian perspective – a perspective that is sorely missing in the cultural debate and even in the church.

“The church can be a part of the solution to gun violence by being the church. The mission of the church is to preach and teach the gospel, and to live it out. The church should fight injustice, seek to transform communities, be a place where people are being changed and equipped to make a difference in the world.” – Michael W. Austin

To download your free God and Guns in America: Discussion and Study Guide, please complete this form:

“The church can be a part of the solution to gun violence by being the church. The mission of the church is to preach and teach the gospel, and to live it out. The church should fight injustice, seek to transform communities, be a place where people are being changed and equipped to make a difference in the world.” – Michael W. Austin

The Armor of Light

The Armor of Light follows an Evangelical minister and the mother of a teenage shooting victim who ask, is it possible to be both pro-gun and pro-life?

In a gripping portrait of courage, director Abigail E. Disney follows the journey of an Evangelical minister trying to find the moral strength to preach about the growing toll of gun violence in America. The Armor of Light tracks Reverend Rob Schenck, anti-abortion activist and fixture on the political far right, who breaks with orthodoxy by questioning whether being pro-gun is consistent with being pro-life.  Reverend Schenck is shocked and perplexed by the reactions of his long-time friends and colleagues who warn him away from this complex, politically explosive issue.

Along the way, Rev. Schenck meets Lucy McBath, the mother of Jordan Davis, an unarmed teenager who was murdered in Florida and whose story has cast a spotlight on “Stand Your Ground” laws. Also an Evangelical Christian, McBath’s personal testimony compels Rev. Schenck to reach out to pastors around the country to discuss the moral and ethical response to gun violence. Lucy is on a difficult journey of her own, trying to make sense of her devastating loss while using her grief to effect some kind of viable and effective political action — where so many before her have failed.

The Armor Of Light follows these allies through their trials of conscience, heartbreak and rejection, as they bravely attempt to make others consider America’s gun culture through a moral lens. The film is also a courageous look at our fractured political culture and an assertion that it is, indeed, possible for people to come together across deep party lines to find common ground.

Fully Protected Bible Study

The Bible has much to say about the issue of violence – especially as it is derived from the intent of the heart. In the days of Noah, God was grieved because the world was violent and the hearts of people on Earth were desperately wicked.

“Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways.” Genesis 6:11-13

Our society today has increasingly becoming just as violent. Though there are many methods used by people to harm others, our country, in particular, is seeing an escalation in gun violence as well as an escalation in the amount of guns both on our streets and in our homes.

As believers in Jesus Christ, what should our response be to the increase of gun violence in our neighborhoods, communities, state, and country? Does the Bible have anything to say about this topic? Is it a moral issue?

The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute has developed a small group Bible study, Fully Protected, which can help us dive into Scripture and look at the issue from a thoughtful, biblical perspective.

The goal of this study is to discover what the Bible says about our faith in God, our attitudes toward others, and our response as Christians to gun violence in our society—and then to help us apply God’s Word to these areas of our lives.

Armor of Light Film

Please note that while this small group study deals with the sensitive topic of gun violence, its intent is to create a safe space away from politics and rhetoric, where we can explore how we as Christians are called to respond.

We encourage everyone – pastors, youth leaders, small group facilitators, and campus ministries – to utilize this free resource.

Prepare to be challenged, to discuss deeply, and to come away with a biblical understanding that we hope will result in greater reliance on Christ, greater faith, and greater spiritual fruit in our lives!

View The Armor of Light Film