This article originally appeared in Christianity Today on June 18, 1990.
President George Bush has articulated a dramatic shift in the essential U.S. strategic doctrine of the past 40 years—containment. We want to move, as he says, "beyond containment, to seek to integrate the Soviets into the community of nations, to help them share the rewards of international cooperation."
The big question, however, is precisely what "beyond containment" might ultimately mean for our nation's foreign policy, since such a change will have far-reaching consequences. To answer it, President Bush has invited the American people and Congress to join him in a dialogue to inform and enlighten the difficult decisions that our nation must make.
As an evangelical, I believe Christians should join this dialogue. Just as we send our sons and daughters as missionaries and give our dollars to aid impoverished children around the world, we should not neglect our nation's foreign policy, with its powerful influence on the peoples of the world.
The President has correctly noted that we can embark on such a necessary enterprise only by looking beyond containment. We urgently need to take a close look at our world and refocus our attention on a new agenda—an agenda for global reconciliation.
Reconciling the planet
As "God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ" through the Cross, we are accountable to continue that reconciliation: person to person and nation to nation. Our modern world is crying out for such a balm.
This century, more than most before it, has seen terrible wars waged on the backs of the innocent. Since World War II there have been more than 140 wars, with all but one occurring in the developing world. Superpower involvement ...