We kill. We come home. We move on. But the violence haunts. And then it questions. Was I justified in Iraq? Is there meaning in violence? For some, the answer comes easily. For others, one question leads to many—the answers seen through all the plain. Benjamin John Peters invites you to accompany him on his harrowing journey through Marine Corps Recruit Training, a violence-riddled Iraq, the questions and doubts of seminary, and the pursuit of reparations in Cambodia. Retold in poignant detail, Through All The Plain chronicles the difficulties of war, of coming home, and of searching for meaning in violence. Peters approaches this topic with both sensitivity and vulnerability in a book that is sure to provoke questions about the nature of faith, violence, and justice in a complex world.
Logan Mehl-Laituri: “Benjamin John Peters writes as a possessed man, overcome not by demons, but by the divine, for he displays a wonderful knack for ordering the chaos that is war. Weaving story with scholarship, this book illumines the dark place that our veterans visit and is therefore a precious gift for congregations, communities, and classrooms alike. Take and read this seemingly bitter tome; its words will prove as sweet as honey on your lips, I know it has mine.”
Dr. Gregory Allen Robbins: “We send young men and women to war without thinking. Out of sight, they tend to be out of mind, our yellow-ribbon bumper stickers notwithstanding. What happens when we send thinking soldiers to war? Some come back to us with tales to tell, eyes-wide-open tales that challenge our complicity with, our inurement to violence, the violence we would render and the violence we sustain—personally and corporately—in executing wars’s ends. Peters’s is one such tale. It goes a long way toward dissipating the ‘fog.’”
Eric Stoner: A compelling and honest account of one man’s transformation from an eager enlistee after the attacks on September 11th to a peacemaker looking to make amends for his complicity in the violence and death wrought by the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Through All The Plain offers a rare look at life in the military and the madness of war from an unusually introspective soldier, who wrestles with — and eventually embraces — the call to love our enemies.