Wayne Grudem explains what the Bible says about self-defense

Theology that hits the spot
Theology that hits the spot

Reformed Baptist theologian Wayne Grudem speaks on the Bible and the right of self-defense.

About Wayne Grudem:

Grudem holds a BA from Harvard University, a Master of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary, and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. In 2001, Grudem became Research Professor of Bible and Theology at Phoenix Seminary. Prior to that, he had taught for 20 years at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he was chairman of the department of Biblical and Systematic Theology.

Grudem served on the committee overseeing the English Standard Version translation of the Bible, and in 1999 he was the president of the Evangelical Theological Society. He is a co-founder and past president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. He is the author of, among other books, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine, which advocates a Calvinistic soteriology, the verbal plenary inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible, the body-soul dichotomy in the nature of man, and the complementarian (rather than egalitarian) view of gender equality.

The MP3 file is here.

The PDF outline is here.


  • what about turning the other cheek? doesn’t that undermine self-defense?
  • what does Jesus say about the right to self-defense in the New Testament
  • did Jesus’ disciples carry swords for protection during his ministry?
  • why did Jesus tell his disciples to sell their cloaks and buy swords?
  • what about Jesus stopping Peter from using force during Jesus’ arrest?
  • shouldn’t we rely on police instead of our own personal weapons?
  • what about brandishing a handgun vs actually trying to shoot someone?
  • what are violent crime rates in pro-gun USA and in the anti-gun UK?
  • does outlawing guns cause violent crime to increase or decrease?
  • do academic studies show that gun control decreases crime?
  • do academic studies show that concealed carry laws decreases crime?
  • what do academic studies show about defensive handgun usage?
  • do many children die from guns in the home compared to other causes?
  • doesn’t the US Constitution limit the usage of guns to the army and police?
  • what did the Founding Fathers believe about lawful ownership of firearms?
  • What should be the goal of someone who uses a weapon in self-defense?

This is a good example of applying the Bible to real life. We need more of that!

4 thoughts on “Wayne Grudem explains what the Bible says about self-defense”

  1. As much as I feel on the correct side of this argument, I still feel it’s okay for people to live as pacifists, and I will agree violent measures should be the last reaction. Even though I would suggest people take appropriate measures to ensure their own safety. (Most people I know that argue against me know nothing, research nothing, and react with personal feelings about what’s appropriate even though they’ve never seen, experienced, or been around anything violent for the most part of their life.) With that being said, when violence becomes an option, typically it is the only option at that point. I’m not saying when something happens, KILL THEM ALL!! I’m saying when use of force is appropriate, the line of violent action has been crossed. I’m not waiting to be Dirty Harry and save the day, I’m simply not asking anybody for permission when it comes to defending my own life when it requires use of force. I think every woman, especially christian women, needs to research use of violent force as an option, regardless if they are going to do anything violent or not-so-violent, for self-protection.

    I’m going to listen again and again, and really take in all the points on this, because this involves a lot of arguments that aren’t bible verses that secular anti-gun advocates have to answer.


  2. Thank you so much for pointing these out, WK! This, combined with the Prager video / article from yesterday, are so informative. It’s good to see these important, practical, and very relevant topics (self-defense, murder / killing distinction) being addressed by serious Christian apologists.

    I was once a pacifist, even as recently as a year ago. Thought it was the morally superior position. But mostly it feeds the ego, gives men something to brag about, and, in the end, often ends up aiding evil, not preventing it.

    Grudem’s balanced, reasoned approach (the least amount of violence for self-defense) seems very biblical.

    Time for me to study more!

    By the way, has anyone of the many lectures at Biola University ever spoken on these topics?


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