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Coleman Lewis Coates Explains How Christians Should Respond to War

A retired Presbyterian minister wrote a book to explain how and where Christians should stand in war and conflict situations.


“One need not be a pacifist or ‘peace church’ member to oppose warfare. One just need to be an obedient listener of God’s Word.”

Should a Christian participate in war where he might kill other people when the Scripture says to “turn the other cheek” and “blessed are the peacemakers”? Retired minister Coleman Lewis Coates sees no biblical justification for going to war. He explains his views and supports them with Scripture in his book “The Listeners: Should Christians Participate in War?” (Redemption Press; 2017).
The title of the book itself conveys the message and theme of the author’s opposition to any Christian involvement in war. He opposes on grounds of the Gospel, arguing that war is contrary to the mission of Jesus and His Church. He goes on to assert that obedience to God by listening to Him is the Christian response to war.
“God has never allowed his people to decide for themselves on war,” said the author. “His Word shows his plan for us – the ones who listen to him – is simply obedience.”
For readers who read this book, certain verses other than the ones mentioned earlier come to mind: Luke 11:28 NIV (“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”) and John 8:47 NIV (“Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”), among others.  
Through “The Listeners,” the author calls on readers to denounce war and instead be active listeners of God’s Word.
“No human war fulfills God’s justice,” insisted the author. “Living the resurrection life and proclaiming it to the nations is God’s only command to Listeners today.”
Read more about Coleman Lewis Coates’ message of obedience to God’s Word in a war-crazed world. Order a copy of “The Listeners: Should Christians Participate in War?” through Amazon ( and Barnes & Noble (
Watch out for the public display of this eye-opening book at the upcoming 2019 Frankfurt International Book Fair on Oct 16-20, 2019, in Frankfurt, Germany.
The Listeners: Should Christians Participate in War?
Written by Coleman Lewis Coates
Published by Redemption Press
Published date: February 21, 2017
Paperback price: $10.95
About the Author
Coleman L. Coates earned an AB in Anthropology from Wheaton College, an M.Div. from Reformed Theological Seminary. A freelance writer and editor of Christian education material at D.C. Cook, and language arts at Follet Educational Corporation, he collaborated with John Perkins on Let Justice Roll Down. Ordained at forty, Coates served PCUSA churches until retirement and worked as a chaplain in a state mental hospital. He plays the French horn, has done choral conduction and composed hymns, and is a prize-winning amateur photographer. Widowed with three adult children and five grandchildren, he lives in Tulsa, OK.

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 Coleman Coates

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