Book Review Issue|
The Morally Divided Body: Ethical Disagreement and the Disunity of the Church edited by Michael Root and James J. Buckley
Review by Robert Benne
All the authors in this volume agree on the general principle that Christian doctrine and central moral teachings and practices cannot be divided into “first-order” and “second-order” issues. What would one expect of an organization that is aiming at being orthodox, evangelical, and catholic? A majority of the authors take the next step and argue that the Christian doctrine of marriage is one of those central moral teachings that cannot be altered without threatening the unity of the church.
Faith and Human Rights: Christianity and the Global Struggle for Human Dignity by Richard Amesbury and George M. Newlands and The God You Have: Politics, Religion, and the First Commandment by Patrick D. Miller
Review by Daniel A. Morris
For anyone worried about Christianity’s effect on political engagement, the authors of these two slim volumes have good news. Christianity has ample resources to support proper participation in political life. Although the two books articulate the details of such participation in markedly different ways, both ultimately ask Christians to draw on the rich moral wisdom of their tradition as they move through the perilous world of earthly politics. Scholars who are interested in Christianity’s potential for supporting human rights discourse and the political significance of biblical injunctions to undiluted obedience to God should read these texts. They are appropriate reading for seminary/divinity school students and advanced undergraduates as well.
We Are Who We Think We Were: Christian History and Christian Ethics by Aaron D. Conley
Other Featured Books
by Daniel K. Finn
Review by James Childs
Finn states at the outset and reiterates throughout that the aim of the book is to answer the question, "What does the history of Christian views of economic life mean for our economic life in the twentieth century?" His review of that history begins with the Hebrew Scriptures and runs through the early church, the Middles Ages, the Reformation, modern and contemporary encyclicals, and social statements of the Protestant churches. The historical narrative is a rich blend of extensive excerpts from the primary sources and the author's commentary on their message. It is the foundation that Finn lays for his concluding chapters on the principles and implications for economic ethics today.
Ethics Beyond War's End edited by Eric Patterson