One thing is for sure: It’s impossible to argue for nonviolence using the violent logic of Empire. Those of us who are committed to the nonviolent way of Jesus simply can’t explain our conviction in terms that the mainstream culture will find satisfying.
The Church in Rome must have had a particular role to play in bearing witness to Jesus and his Upside-Down Empire – an empire of love and justice that stood in contrast to the selfishness and violence of the wider culture. I believe that there is need for such a witness today in the new Rome.
Whether in the tales of ancient heroes like Alexander the Great and Caesar Augustus or in our portrayals of today's characters, like Barak Obama and Steve Jobs, our shared mythology teaches us that history is made by larger-than-life individuals, people who make earth-shattering decisions on a world stage.