Two Wars is a true story of an American Ranger called Nate Self who fought in Afghanistan (as well as serving in Germany, Kosovo, Iraq and Nineveh). However, this isn’t a typical war biography, as it covers his faith journey while deployed and his struggle with PTSD after leaving the army. The two wars are his physical war in the army, and his spiritual/ mental/ emotional war with the effects of battle.
I finished the book within 24 hours. It is a gripping read. An emotional journey. A book worth reading.
Here is the trailer for the book:
I finished the book with 3 thoughts (especially considering the fact that a close member of my family has served in Afghanistan as an Army Chaplain):
War is Hell
No matter how you look at it, war is one of the worst effects of the Fall. How we can kill and slaughter one another in such passion is terrible. Yet, we live in a world where war is necessary. Whilst I’d love to be a pacifist, I understand theologically and logically that we have to go to war sometimes. A very helpful book on this is Don Carson’d book ‘Love in hard places‘. However, reading accounts of death and war make me wish we didn’t have to send men and women to war. War is hell.
Isaiah 2:4 is a vital verse for me:
He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war any more.
Chaplains are needed
The chaplain comes up a few times in the book, and is a real source of strength to Nate. As a church, we cannot just a) say we don’t believe in war and so our soldiers can go to hell, b) say we do believe in war, but there is no need to be there. We must be there. We need Evangelical Chaplains who grasp the gospel and love the men and women who serve. I know a number of chaplains and connot believe what they do for their calling. We need to support and love these guys.
There are also organisations like SASRA who do amazing work…
Christian soldiers need to be cared for
This is why we need Chaplains and Scripture Readers (SASRA). But one thing that came out in the book was how as churches we didn’t know how to help and support Nate when he came home. Do you? I’m guessing that most churches have at least one serving, or retired, soldier. How are we loving them?
Well, there are my thoughts.
If you are reading this and are a pacifist…don’t bother commenting please. Ivory Tower theology that is devoid of reality and love is not welcome (sorry to seem harsh).
If you have read this, but think that war isn’t that bad, and that soldiers don’t need special care – read the book.
Here is an interview with Nate:
The book is a free Kindle download on Amazon at the moment.