The blogworld got pretty serious about my post on the death penalty, and we saw some areas of disagreement. The poll (to your right) surprised me, but then again I’m not always sure of the demographics of my readers. I did think that doing the bars in blue and red was clever, but I wish there could have been a purple.
I stand with many who do not think Rom 13’s “sword” is about the death penalty, but a metaphor for justice (see Moo), but I don’t think is just about an exegesis of one passage. The issue is both pragmatic (can the US system work well enough?) and theological/exegetical (what does the Bible say and how do we theologize our sacred texts into our world?). I do not want to debate this one any further here, but I’d like to recommend a book or two that deeply moved me.
Virginia Stem Owens, Living Next Door to the Death House (Eerdmans).
Also, I like C.D. Marshall, Beyond Retribution (Eerdmans)