Shooting Back: The Right and Duty of Self-Defense by Charl Van Wyk is a book that I added to my library a few years ago. But it is a book that deals with many of the issues that remain relevant in our world today. The author of the book actually found himself in a situation which has come to be known as the St. James Massacre. Here is Van Wyk’s account of what happened:
“Grenades were exploding in flashes of light. Pews shattered under the blasts, sending splinters flying through the air. An automatic assault rifle was being fired and was fast ripping the pews – and whoever, whatever was in its trajectory – to pieces. We were being attacked!
“Instinctively, I knelt down behind the bench in front of me and pulled out my .38 special snub-nosed revolver, which I always carried with me. I would have felt undressed without it. Many people could not understand why I would carry a firearm into a church service, but I argued that this was a particularly dangerous time in South Africa….”
On that day in July 25, 1993, this dear brother was severely outgunned and outmanned, but he shot back. His book not only gives the story of what happened, but also addresses many of the concerns that the many of us have debated before or written about:
- Should Christians carry weapons?
- When is it appropriate to defend ourselves and those we love?
- What can we, as God’s people, do when our rights are threatened?
The best thing about this book is that there are many references to Scripture from the Old Testament all the way into the New. All of God’s people should desire that God be glorified and His Word is honored. It should also be our desire that our actions are in accordance to the Word of God. I do feel that Brother Van Wyk is such a man.
He also brings his own experiences into the book, which are very helpful. For instance, the post-shooting trauma, the anger, the forgiveness, etc. are all parts of the aftermath. In the book, he does not shy away from writing about these things.
This book is a good reminder also that terrorism is not only an American problem and that gun laws and freedom are not only American issues. While his experience is something none of us want to go through, it is something we try to prepare for. Having a copy of this book in my personal library has caused me to think about some things I have never thought about. I would sugggest everyone buy this book!