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Bridging the chasm of diverse responses to divisive issues

February 8, 2020

Different convictions about ethical issues are fracturing the Church and fueling firestorms in our society and our politics. The gospel compels us to deal with these pressing moral issues. Millions of people’s lives, the future of the planet, and the credibility of both the Church and the Christian faith are impacted by our responses.

We can’t afford to be silent, but we needn’t be shrill.

I’m glad to announce the release of a new book I’ve co-edited with my colleague, Hak Joon Lee, Professor of Ethics at Fuller Theological Seminary, in response to this crisis: Discerning Ethics: Diverse Christian Responses to Divisive Moral Issues. This expansive book is designed to foster dialogue and deepen understanding regarding the divisive issues of our day. Sixteen scholars examine sixteen critical ethical issues: Climate change; Poverty and income inequality; Urban degradation; Immigration; Access to Health Care; Abortion; Transgender; Homosexuality; Violence against women; War, nonviolence, and just peacemaking; Gun Violence; Mass Incarceration; Racism; Disability; Social and entertainment media; Public Education

Each chapter begins with one person’s experience with this issue, then gives an overview of its domestic and global scope. The heart of each chapter follows by presenting three biblically reasoned positions on each issue, using the convictions of contemporary leaders who embrace that point of view. It concludes with how the issue was resolved in the opening story, and then provides reflection and discussion questions, and lists of further resources, to guide readers’ interaction and response.

The book is written for individuals, small groups, academic classes, and church education programs with the goal of nurturing greater empathy for people whose positions differ from our own, and helping people clarify their own point of view.

We believe God is calling churches to become communities of prophetic love, and demonstrative creative moral solutions that further the good of all people, and all creation. Our hope is for the Spirit of God to nourish the winsome witness of the Church through deep dialogue and prayerful reflection about the call of God. Rather than scandalizing people by either our silence or our shrillness, we pray for society to be scandalized by the embracing, inclusive love of Christ embodied by the Church.

Here’s a link to the book, which will be released on February 25, 2020: Discerning Ethics: Diverse Christian Responses to Divisive Moral Issues

  1. Tim, congrats to you and Hak Joon Lee for tackling such an important topic or series of topics. Wrestling thoughtfully and Biblically with contemporary issues like this, and fostering honest dialog around them, is critically important in our world today. A similar attempt in the 1980’s was transformative to my faith and action at that time, so I welcome with open arms this fresh attempt in our current era!

    • Thanks Cory, I appreciate your encouragement. I welcome your help in getting the word out about this resource. I hope you’re well.

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