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Bible and Ethics

Bible and Ethics in the Christian Life: A New Conversation

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Description

Earth is changing in ways it hasn’t for hundreds of thousands of years. At the same time, Christianity is breaking away from its millennium-long geographical and cultural center in the Euro-West. Its growth is in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, primarily in Pentecostal, evangelical, and independent churches. These dramatically changed planetary and ecclesial landscapes have led many to conclude that we need a new way of thinking about our collective existence: who are we and what is the nature of our responsibility in this deeply altered world? To address that question, biblical scholars Bruce C. Birch and Jacqueline E. Lapsley and Christian ethicists Larry L. Rasmussen and Cynthia Moe-Lobeda carry on “a new conversation” that engages how Christians are to understand the authority and use of Scripture, the basic elements of any full-bodied Christian ethic attuned to our circumstances, and the nature of our responsibility to our planetary neighbors and creation itself. 

ISBN: 
9780800697617
Price: 
$39.00
ISBN: 
9781451438543
Price: 
$39.00
Release date: 
May 1, 2018
Pages: 
290
Width: 
6
Height: 
9

Contents

Introduction: A New Conversation

Part I. The Bible as Moral Witness

1. A Two-Part Consensus

2. Foundations of the Biblical Text in Community Witness

3. Biblical Authority

4. Interpreting the Biblical Witness

Part II. Elements of the Moral Life

5. What Are Morality, Ethics, and Christian Ethics?

6. Moral Formation

7. Moral Discernment and Action

Part III. The Bible, Ethics, and the Moral Life

8. Witness and Practice

9. The Church and the Moral Life

Summary and Challenge 

Endorsements

Teachers and students around the world will be greatly inspired by this extraordinary book. 

The authors of this book have launched a compelling conversation about the relation of the Bible to Christian ethics that is most relevant for this present epoch known as the Anthropocene. Its readers will be both enlightened and challenged by their claim that the biblical ethos of community can and should guide our many and varied contemporary struggles for social justice. Undoubtedly, teachers and students around the world will be greatly inspired by this extraordinary book. 

Peter Paris | Princeton Theological Seminary

This book will be a defining point of reference for time to come.

Four singularly gifted interpreters have joined together in a most ambitious project. They propose nothing less than to trace the logic of a faithful ethic from its complex rootage in scripture to the mandates for concrete action in the world. In their ambitious enterprise they have succeeded in compelling and spectacular ways. As a result this book will be a defining point of reference for time to come. They see clearly how complex the matter is, but do not flinch from the task. They stake a great deal on the canonical shape of scripture and prize the church as an imaginative generative interpretive community. Before they finish they provide guidance on how to do the work of ethics. This book will be a valuable asset for the teaching ministry and for the practical life of the church.

Walter Brueggemann | Columbia Theological Seminary

Recognizing that ethics requires stepping out of one’s context to see what is invisible to oneself, this text provides a framework with which to do so.

In an age in which Christians are unsure if the Bible is equipped to handle postmodern problems, such as bioengineering and global warming, the authors of a classic text have recruited two new voices to offer a path forward in Bible and Ethics in the Christian Life: A New Conversation. The book emphasizes faith communities as incubators for Christian moral development and as contexts for the reading of Scripture. This text not only serves as a useful introduction to the discipline of Christian Ethics but also offers a paradigm for approaching multiple moral dilemmas. Recognizing that ethics requires stepping out of one’s context to see what is invisible to oneself, this text provides a framework with which to do so. Highly recommended.

David Gushee | Mercer University

Readers will join a rich conversation that the authors challenge us to engage—embodied faith.  It is well worth taking up this challenge.

We live, as all generations before us and after us, in challenging times. Bible and Ethics in the Christian Life recognizes this and provides a clear and welcome guide for how to bring into conversation the relationship of scripture to ethics for Christians as we face these challenges with a strong moral compass and deep biblically-informed witness. Readers will join a rich conversation that the authors challenge us to engage—embodied faith.  It is well worth taking up this challenge.

Emilie M. Townes | Vanderbilt University Divinity School

Both a timely and much-needed volume.

Because the question of how the Bible is used to construct contemporary Christian ethics has taken on crucial importance in these days, Bible and Ethics in the Christian Life: A New Conversation is extremely well timed. The authors assume that the Bible should contribute to our understandings of the moral life in Christianity. However, they provide a detailed analysis of the range of issues that must be considered to interpret the Bible ethically—such as the diverse biblical traditions within the canon itself, the differences between historical contexts and contemporary ones, and the harmful consequences of some biblical interpretations that have occurred and continue to occur. Readers of this volume will be assured of the Bible’s place, yet they will be challenged (rightfully so) to reflect on how the Bible is being read in different settings and which perspectives are represented in defining the shape of Christian moral life. Furthermore, readers will encounter a persuasive and well-articulated study of how the Bible can and should be read in ways that result in the flourishing of all creation—both human and nonhuman. Bible and Ethics in the Christian Life: A New Conversation is both a timely and much-needed volume.

Cheryl Anderson | Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

A wonderful book!

This is a wonderful book! Continuing a 40+ year conversation on the Bible and ethics between Birch and Rasmussen, this book introduces the voices of Lapsley and Moe-Lobeda, so extending the initial conversation into exciting new directions. The strength of this book is situated in the way the authors continue to reflect on the original questions in the face of ever new challenges such as climate change, growing equality and poverty, structural injustice in terms of race, gender and sexual orientation and the reality of more refugees and displaced person than any time since World War II.  

Compulsory reading for students and believers who are wrestling with the questions of moral formation and the role the Bible plays in complex ethical questions in our modern world.

L. Juliana Claassens | Stellenbosch University

The wait is finally over.

It’s been almost thirty years since the last edition of Bible and Ethics in the Christian Life was out. The wait is finally over for a new conversation that draws from the strengths of its predecessors but more importantly enters into new domains of discourse as well as familiar domains with new light: from biblical authority to bioethics, virtue theory to moral imagination, racial justice to ecological ethics, neuroscience to cosmology, all with the conviction and humility that makes this edition a true model of conversation. 

William P. Brown | Columbia Theological Seminary

Their powerful vision of Christian ethics will inspire students and scholars to more fully recognize the gospel's transformative social potential.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit in the church—that is how this eloquent book frames both Bible and ethics.  These authors proclaim a creative and dynamic ethics as most faithful to Scripture itself.  Only such an ethics can provide a "radical alternative" to the individual and structural sin displayed in myriad ways across our global environment. Their powerful vision of Christian ethics will inspire students and scholars to more fully recognize the gospel's transformative social potential.

Lisa Sowle Cahill | Boston College