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Choosing the Good: Christian Ethics in a Complex World
Baker / 2002 / Paperback
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The subject of ethics has always been of fundamental importance for thoughtful Christians, but it has become even more significant in recent years, with the recognition of the pluralism and post-Christian context of contemporary society. In this book, Dennis Hollinger surveys several different approaches to ethics, considers the most critical issues facing Christians today, and suggests that any viable perspective must be rooted in a Christian worldview.
Choosing the Good begins with a survey of the ethical approaches that have been adopted by secular and Christian ethicists. Beyond the common consequentialist and principle-oriented perspectives, an alternative character/virtue approach has recently found wide acceptance, particularly in the work of Alasdair McIntyre and Stanley Hauerwas. Hollinger provides a critical analysis of these views and suggest that they overlook a critical element, which is the basis found in a uniquely Christian worldview.
Next, Hollinger reflects on the application of Christian ethics in what he calls the "complex world" of contemporary pluralism and postmodernism. He examines the complexities of secular society and how those complexities affect Christian ethics. He then explores the factors that influence how Christians make ethical decisions, including Scripture and empirical judgment. Finally, he surveys the questions of justice, pluralism, and Christian influence in the secular world.
This volume has grown out of Hollinger's many years of experience in both academic and local church settings. His work is unique in that it surveys common approaches to ethics as well as contemporary issues of critical importance. Sure to find widespread use as a text in colleges and seminaries, it will also provide Christian lay readers with an excellent analysis of the subject.
Dennis P. Hollinger (Ph.D., Drew University) is president and professor of Christian ethics at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. Prior to this appointment, he was president and professor of Christian ethics at the Evangelical School of Theology in Myerstown, Pennsylvania. He has also been part of the academic communities at Messiah College (Grantham, PA), Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary (Elkhart, IN), and Alliance Theological Seminary (Nyack, NY). He is the coeditor of the Critical Issues in Bioethics series.
"An outstanding resource---an ethics text that is deeply Christian, conceptually clear, personally engaging, and intellectually substantive! This is an exceptionally helpful book for Christians concerned about the moral life. Hollinger provides a clear map to guide readers through the rugged terrain of competing theoretical frameworks and complex practical questions." -Christine Pohl, professor of social ethics, Asbury Theological Seminary
"Much that is written in Christian ethics today focuses on only specific contemporary issues or is limited to a Christian perspective far removed from the world in which we live. In delightful contrast, Dennis Hollinger's work, while rich in application, is richer still in ethical theory, cultural critique, and historical, theological, and empirical analysis. These tools will equip the reader to tackle far more than the particular issues of today. Hollinger also accomplishes the difficult feat of staying closely in touch with today's pluralistic culture while remaining genuinely biblical and theological in outlook. When I read Hollinger's work, every time I finished a chapter I found myself more eager for another one. That's a good sign." -John F. Kilner, president, The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity
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