Tonight I had the privilege of attending a nearly two-hour presentation and meet-n-greet with peacemaking activist, theologian and missionary, Dan Buttry. In a Christian Peacemaking independent study I did last year, two of the books I used were by Dan–Christian Peacemaking (1994) and Peace Ministry: A Handbook for Local Churches (1995). I recommend both.
This evening I appreciated Dan’s story of transitioning from pastoral ministry to international mediation and conflict transformation. I also valued the roles that Mennonites John Howard Yoder and John Paul Lederach played in Dan’s journey and in the journey of Baptist peacemaking more generally. In addition to describing his own personal path, Dan also told stories from the field, such as this one from a trip to Liberia–I’m the Socks.
Dan’s current role is quite intriguing. He is the “American Baptist International Ministries’ Global Consultant for Peace and Justice. He works with [Baptist] missionaries and national church partners around the world to deal constructively with conflict situations. In addition, Dan trains church and community leaders in conflict transformation skills, utilizing experiential education methodologies and Bible study” (from a pamphlet for International Ministries). Carl Wilkens’ presentation at Andrews University earlier this month tells me that the Adventist church needs this kind of leadership as well. And what would it take for us to have a recurring global peace conference or convention like the Baptists do?
Also related is Friendship and Faith: The Wisdom of Women Creating Alliances for Peace (2010), and there is talk of a project called Blessed are the Filmmakers as a follow-up to his book Blessed are the Peacemakers.