Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Norway's Tragedy and Christian Fundamentalism

In the past week Norway has faced perhaps its most tragic hour. On Friday afternoon Anders Behring Breivik set off a bomb outside government offices in Oslo. He then made his way to Utoya Island, where a youth camp was being run by a political party. Dressed in a police uniform, he opened fire on those present. He killed at least 76 people. What sort of person could be capable of such horriffic actions?

As news channels, websites and newspapers announced this breaking news, many proclaimed that this was the work of a Christian fundamentalist. This media coverage has once again fed the belief of many that Christianity (along with 'religion' in general) only causes violence and hatred in the world. But is this the case? Is a Christian capable of such atrocity? Is this terror consistent with genuine Christianity? Many seem to be saying that it is.

A couple of helpful posts have been written on this issue:
  • Tim Challies has written an article entitled Pondering Norway's Darkest Hour on his blog.
  • Michael Horton has also written a piece on this issue over at the White Horse Inn blog. You can view it here.
These are worth reading, and the question of the relationship of Christianity to such terrors is worth grappling with, because these are issues that will no doubt be raised by many non-Christian friends.