We have a need today to free up the Church in its ability think through and debate its ethical responses to contemporary issues. How do we think about and respond to the issues of crime, punishment and rehabilitation, consumerism - money, banks, economics and bonuses, war and peace making, euthanasia and assisted dying, same sex relationships. etc. We can only act within the world we can envision
. We do not come to see merely by looking, but must develop disciplined skills through initiation into that community that attempts to live faithfully to the story of God
by learning to be faithful disciples, we are more able to see the world as it is. Stanley Hauerwas, The Peaceable Kingdom. Ethics provide the cultural and moral framework in which we live our whole lives. Our ethics are like the air we breathe, and though for the most part they go unnoticed, our lives and communities depend on them. But Christian ethics are distinctive. They are not just anyones ethics. Indeed, if the Christian vision is not distinct from other moral frameworks, then what is so special about Christ and our story? For many, Jesus has simply become nothing more than a personal and private motivator to the same common ideals, which are shared by all. So, how do we live distinctively in a time of uncertainty? How do we see the world through the eyes of Christ? What tools do we need for the complex choices that confront us, in order to live well; to live Christ centred lives in the 21st century? This book provides this kind of help in a clearly, written accessible style with discussion questions making this useful for small-group use.
Steve Chalke is an ordained minister and the founder of Oasis, which over the last 25 years has developed into a group of charities working to deliver education, training, youth work, health care and housing around the world. He is the senior minister of Church.co.uk, Waterloo and a UN Special Advisor working to combat people trafficking. In 2004 he was awarded an MBE by the Queen for his work in social inclusion.
Alan Mann is a freelance writer, educator and consultant in the area of Christianity and contemporary culture. He has worked with Steve Chalke on numerous publications, including The Lost Message of Jesus.