Wise in format, thought, and counsel, clear and charitable in expression, and comprehensive in scope, Philip Turner's book brings a lifetime of scholarly reflection, churchly hands-on living, and missionary experience to this refreshing project on Christian ethics. His is an effort to reorient the ethical life away from self and toward the graces and challenges of Christian fellowship in communion. The reader is taken on a thoughtful journey of patient reconfiguration into Christ's body for the sake of the world.
senior research professor of biblical interpretation, Wycliffe College, University of Toronto
H. Richard Niebuhr's theme of Christ transforming culture was enormously influential in Christian ethics during the last half of the twentieth century. Whatever its usefulness then, Philip Turner argues that in a culture where faith is increasingly pushed to the margins, the church's common life must now be the focus of Christian moral reflection. Turner develops this argument in detail and in prolonged conversation with the New Testament witness. His is not, however, an argument for withdrawal from the larger society; rather, he believes that only a church that has discovered its calling can understand its civic and political responsibilities. This is a deeply thoughtful book, the fruit of years of reflection and experience, and it deserves to be read by anyone who wants to think seriously about the shape of a life in Christ.
From African missionary to professor to seminary dean and president, Philip Turner now presents his life's work in living into and giving voice to the distinctiveness of Christian ethics. Catholic in nature, evangelical in mission, Turner's sustained argument is that life in Christ is centered in what it means to be the church and what that means for being in the world. Chapters on alternative theological visions and on moral choices in the public sphere make this a rich argument about the Christian moral life and a text that can also serve well in an introductory course in Christian ethics.
-Timothy F. Sedgwick,
Clinton S. Quin Professor of Christian Ethics, Virginia Theological Seminary