According to the Scriptures?: The Challenge of Using the Bible in Social, Moral, and Political Questions (Biblical Challenges in the Contemporary World)

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Press: Routledge; 1 edition (August 8, 2014)
Author Name:Rogerson, J. W.
Edition:1st Edition


If something is commanded in the Bible, the command must surely be obeyed if we are to be true to the Bible. 
This is what many people think, especially when they hear representatives of churches today arguing about moral issues.
In fact, the matter is not as simple as this, and at various periods of history, churches have had quite differing views on how biblical commandments should be understood, and on whether they can be applied to their situations, if at all.
The book falls into two sections.
The first sketches the history of the use of the Bible in social, moral and political questions from the use of the Old Testament in the New Testament, to the present day.
The second part looks at some case studies, including human and sexual relationships, life issues, attitudes to lawful authority, and the changing of interest.


Christian Books & Bibles,Christian Living,Social Issues,Religion & Spirituality,Religious Studies,Sociology,Bible Study & Reference,Commentaries

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  •     This book is part of a series "Biblical Challenges to the Contemporary World" whose goal is to "acquaint readers with the biblical material pertinent to particular issues, including that which causes difficulty or embarrassment in today's world" with the intent of creating dialogue between the biblical texts and modern readers.The author, John W. Rogerson, who is also the editor of the series, asks can we "go by the book" when assessing what the Bible has to say regarding modern questions especially in relation to controversial social, moral, and political issues. He shows that we cannot just simply quote verses from the Bible and make declarations as to its meaning and application to modern concerns, the issues are much more complicated than that.The book starts with examining some insights from ancient Judaism and how it approached the Bible. We are then introduced to what the New Testament has to say regarding Old Testament law with illustrations from Jesus, Paul, the Gospels, Acts, and some of the other writings of the New Testament.Over the next five chapters we are given representative examples through out church history, including Jewish scholars, discussing the complexities of approaching the Bible and its application to contemporary questions. From the apostolic fathers we hear from the Didache, Barnabas, Ignatius, Justin Martyr and others. From the third century to the Reformation we have Clement, Origen, Abraham Ibn Ezra, Maimonides, and Aquinas. During the Reformation we hear from Luther and Calvin. Sixteenth through nineteenth centuries we have Richard Hooker, Richard Baxter, J.D. Michaelis, and finally discussions regarding nineteenth century biblical criticism.The author wraps up the book by showing that the Bible, rather than giving specific precepts to be followed, instead we are given examples by which we are to reason out the various applications. From there three case studies are presented, first on marriage, divorce, and remarriage; second on the topic of charging interest or usury, third and finally questions on human sexuality including gay marriage. The author concludes with seven propositions by which a reader can assess the examples from the biblical texts and how they may be applicable to contemporary questions.This is a short book of 192 pages and offers intelligent and focused ways to think about the Bible in light of history and how what it says may or may not have an application to modern social, moral, and political questions.Highly recommended!

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