- Paperback: 360 pages
- Publisher: P & R Publishing; 3 edition (July 23, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0875526225
- ISBN-13: 978-0875526225
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 6.2 x 0.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 30 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #288,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Evangelical Ethics: Issues Facing the Church Today Paperback – July 23, 2004
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"I am delighted that John J. Davis's Evangelical Ethics is appearing again in a new edition. I have used the text in my classes for years. I admire its faithfulness to Scripture and Reformed theology and its power to stimulate good discussion. The new chapters on the environment and genetics continue the same high standard. I recommend the book highly." --John M. Frame
"Possibly one of the finest textbooks on ethical issues available." --Evangelical Presbyterian
About the Author
Dr. John Jefferson Davis, an ordained Presbyterian minister, is professor of systematic theology and Christian ethics at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. A former president of the Evangelical Philosophical Society, Dr. Davis earned his PhD degree in systematic theology at Duke University and is the author of several books, including Theology Primer, Foundations of Evangelical Theology, Evangelical Ethics: Issues Facing the Church Today, Frontiers of Science and Faith, and numerous articles in scholarly journals.
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On the positive side I think Davis does a good job introducing each topic. I like that he covers a broad range of ethical issues such as abortion, euthanasia, war and peace, capital punishment, divorce and remarriage, etc. He also gives plenty of biblical support for his positions on each issue.
The book title is necessarily inaccurate because the label "evangelical" is sufficiently broad in today's culture that not all who call themselves evangelical would agree with his positions. While Davis is aware of this diversity of opinion among evangelicals, he nevertheless makes a pretty strong case for his positions. We might describe his efforts as making the case for the conservative evangelical position.
On the negative side the book is necessarily surface level. While each topic is touched on, and is introduced well, those looking for a more in depth treatment on each topic should delve more deeply into other books. The other criticism I have is that the book reads like a textbook. While it is informative, it is not the most engaging of reads.
I would recommend this book if only to get your feet wet in the subject matter. It will give you food for thought and will challenge you to think about where you stand on particular ethical issues. While the book has some style issues, for an introductory textbook on Christian ethics, this book will serve the reader well.
Evangelical Ethics, by John Jefferson Davis, is a much-needed corrective in my own life and, I would trust, for Christ's Church as well. In just my first reading, I have been profoundly encouraged to not only engage the significant ethical issues facing the Church, but to not rest content until I understand those issues in light of Scripture. This is not easy work, but it is an essential work. Jesus calls us to be salt and light.
After opening the book with a chapter on decision making, Davis examines eleven major ethical issues facing Christians and the Church today: contraception, reproductive technologies, divorce and remarriage, homosexuality, abortion, infanticide and euthanasia, capital punishment, civil disobedience, war and peace, environmental issues, and genetic enhancement and manipulation. In each section, Davis presents the historical and legal background of the particular issue, providing thick documentation from the relevant sources. He then examines each issue in light of Scripture, bringing the reader to what he considers a clear Biblical position, or, at least, a place where the reader can use the given information to begin to think more clearly about that specific issue.
Davis' work is also highly accessible. The book itself, not including the end notes, is only 288 pages. It is not an exhaustive treatment of each subject; rather, it is a helpful introduction to the major ethical issues presently facing the church. Though thoroughly researched and documented, Davis' work is straightforward, clear, and will benefit pastors, scholars and laypeople alike.
Evangelical Ethics has been tested in over two decades of readership and is now in its third edition. Since it was first published in 1985, Davis' treatment of contemporary ethical problems has been a standard in churches and Christian classrooms. Having read and profited from Davis' book, I now understand why this is the case. It is well-researched and well-written, and it provides a sure foundation from which to start thinking about these important issues. I highly recommend it.
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