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Written by legal and biblical scholars, this book is a unique and penetrating analysis of the nature and role of law in Scripture.
Christians tend to pick and choose verses to reinforce existing positions and tend to conflate ideas when trying to articulate which biblical legal principles should be made the "law of the land". This book, Law and the Bible: Justice, Mercy and Legal Institutions explores the ways in which the Bible illuminates how Christians participate in contemporary legal systems.
Each chapter is co-written by a legal scholar and a theologian, and focuses on a key aspect of the biblical witness concerning civil or positive law-that is, law that humans societies create to order their communities, implementing and enforcing it through civil government. This is a foundational text for legal professionals, law and prelaw students, and all who want to think in a faithfully Christian way about law and their relationship to it.
The Bible is full of law. Yet too often, Christians either pick and choose verses out of context to bolster existing positions, or assume that any moral judgment the Bible expresses should become the law of the land. Law and the Bible asks: What inspired light does the Bible shed on Christians participation in contemporary legal systems? It concludes that more often than not the Bible overturns our faulty assumptions and skewed commitments rather than bolsters them. In the process, God gives us greater insight into what all of life, including law, should be. Each chapter is cowritten by a legal professional and a theologian, and focuses on a key aspect of the biblical witness concerning civil or positive law--that is, law that human societies create to order their communities, implementing and enforcing it through civil government. A foundational text for legal professionals, law and prelaw students, and all who want to think in a faithfully Christian way about law and their relationship to it.
Robert F. Cochran Jr. (J.D., University of Virginia) is Louis D. Brandeis Professor of Law at Pepperdine University; founder and director of the Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics; and founder of Pepperdine's Union Rescue Mission Legal Clinic. His numerous works include (NYU Press, 2008); (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003, with Robert M. Ackerman; and (Yale University Press, 2001), with Michael McConnell and Angela Carmella.
David M. VanDrunen (Ph.D., Loyola University Chicago; J.D., Northwestern University) is Robert B. Strimple Professor of Systematic Theology and Christian Ethics at Westminster Seminary California. A minister of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and an attorney, his books include (Eerdmans, 2010), and (Crossway, 2009).
"Readers may well be part of a stimulating and productive pilgrimage as other scholars address the subject [in Law and the Bible]. Recommended."
"The style of writing in this volume is described in the foreword as 'learned but accessible' (p. 9), and that is a good description. This makes Law and the Bible useful not only to lawyers and law students, pastors and seminarians, but also to individual Christians with an interest in the implications of the Christian faith for civil law."
"This volume is remarkable for the depth, breadth and accessibility of its analysis. The interdisciplinary collaborations that form the project also reflect the inescapable fact that neither law nor the Christian life neatly follow the boundaries of academic fields. Readers should accept the authors' invitation to join a sweeping conversation about the core issues of our shared humanity as they play out across our biblical and legal traditions."
" Law and the Bible is invaluable for giving Christians a balanced view of the limits and possibilities of contemporary public policy. Readers will have a better understanding of how Scripture may or may not apply to modern legal and public policy problems. This compelling book will be rewarding to lawyers, those interested in politics and justice, and those interested in a deeper understanding of Scripture. It is worth reading and re-reading."
"Regardless of how one frames the task of the Christian lawmaker/advocate or even the concerned Christian citizen, that task will be aided by a thorough knowledge of what the Bible has to say on matters of civil law, making Law and the Bible a valuable resource. The style of writing in this volume is described in the forward as 'learned but accessible,' and that is a good description. The authors' approach to their topics is similar to what one might read in a theological or legal journal, but the authors have left behind the heavy hermeneutical and jurisprudential jargon of their respective disciplines. This makes Law and the Bible a viable resource for not only lawyers and law students, pastors and seminarians, but also individual Christians with an interest in the implications of the Christian faith for civil law, and even non-Christians who want to understand how Christians approach these issues."
"All the book's contributors engage in earnest analysis of the biblical text, a point of reference that remains characteristic of Evangelicalism. . . . Law and the Bible avoids simplistic transposition to the contemporary situation and provides a valuable starting point for serious reflection. Readers who are interested in learning about thoughtful Evangelical approaches to the challenge of biblical authority in a secularized legal world would do well to start with Law and the Bible."