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  William D. “Bill” Bontrager


I was born into the home of a lawyer/politician and, like my father, became a lawyer and politician. But for as long as I can remember, I have always been searching for an deeper understanding of justice — what it is, and how to obtain it.

 
  For 10 years, I practiced general law, often wondering where was justice.

 
    For three years of that time, I also served as a member of the Indiana Board of Correction, a citizen advisory Board to the Governor on matters related to prisons. My concerns over what I saw as a lack of justice in correctional processes and institutions led me to consider the juvenile and criminal justice systems, the mental health systems, and the issues involved in special education. Again, justice seemed to be missing.

 
    I became a judge, thinking I could do justice, but soon found myself handcuffed by the law and unable to extend justice to those appearing in the court. In frustration, I actually attempted to manipulate the law to bring about justice, for which I was soundly disciplined by the Indiana Supreme Court. If you are interested in knowing more, see chapter 16 of Charles Colson’s book, Loving God (Zondervan, 1983).

 
    Along the way, Jesus Christ became very real to me. Although raised in, and active in, the church, I never saw myself as a sinner (a matter of character), but as one who sinned and could work out of that so the scales of justice would tip in favor of my good works rather than my wrong acts. My view changed in 1977, and I accepted Christ as my savior.

 
  I discovered that being saved, and allowing Him to lead and control one’s life are very different things. During my travails with the Supreme Court, I surrendered myself to His Lordship.

 
    I left the bench in disgrace, and returned to the practice of law for some 18 months. During this time, in concert with other Christian lawyers, I began to explore what the Bible has to say about how we are to deal with conflict. I began to share the things I learned with my clients.
 
    In the fall of 1983, I left the law. We moved to Minneapolis where I became director of a Christian Conciliation Service. There my studies continued, but I also spent time working with people in conflict, teaching on the subject, and equipping others to help those in conflict.

In 1988 we left Minneapolis for Colorado and life as itinerants — going wherever the Lord would lead to help people and organizations in conflict. In 1994 my wife and I began 5 years of teaching in universities in the former Soviet Union. I taught law while she taught English. While there, I began to actively consider how God’s ways for dealing with conflict might be applicable to the laws and legal processes of a secular society.

 
  Over the years, I have written extensively on matters related to:

 
   

 

What the Bible says about conflict, how we are to deal with it, how we are to help others who are in conflict, and what is to be the role of the Body of Christ in that process.
 
  How God’s law and process differs from our Western legal philosophy, history, and practice.
 
When do we seek for justice, and how are we to find it.
    This web-site is designed to make those materials available to others who seek answers to the questions of life. It is also designed as a way to be available to people who are in conflict — to allow them to make direct contact so that counsel can be given not only in the theoretical but also in the practical.

 
    This help is available to all, without regards to race, color, sex, religious beliefs (or lack thereof). But as for me, I shall seek to serve the Lord, and express His positions.

 
  William D. “Bill” Bontrager
December, 2001