In addition to the lectionary days, there are essays for twenty-two "Holy Days of Justice," including Martin Luther King Day, Earth Day, World AIDS Day, and Children's Sabbath. These days are intended to enlarge the church's awareness of God's call for justice and of the many ways that call comes to the church and world today.
“Dean Flemming has written a game-changing book on the interpretation of scripture for the mission of the church. This relatively slim but rich volume is absolutely mandatory reading for all serious students of the New Testament and for all who wish to understand the church's participation in the mission of God. It should be on the syllabus of every ecclesially focused course on the New Testament and every biblically attuned course in ecclesiology and in missiology.” —Michael J. Gorman, Raymond E. Brown Professor of Biblical Studies and Theology, St. Mary's Seminary and University, Baltimore, MD
“I am always grateful when another book by Dean Flemming appears. His writing arises out of his significant cross-cultural experience, his outstanding scholarship, and his careful listening to the Spirit in the text. This book is written clearly and is full of nourishing insight.” —Michael W. Goheen, Professor of Missiology, Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, MI; former Geneva Chair of Worldview Studies, Trinity Western University, Langley, BC; and Teaching Fellow in Mission Studies, Regent College, Vancouver, BC
“‘Why mission?’ is a critical question, one not asked or understood often enough. Here is a stirring reading of the New Testament that demonstrates a living triune God on mission, bringing redemption to the world through a living apostolic church. So much rich theological interpretation packed into a small book!” —Nijay K. Gupta, assistant professor of New Testament, George Fox Evangelical Seminary, Portland, OR
“Since writing The Mission of God, I have felt guilty that it paid so much more attention to a missional reading of the Old than of the New Testament. This fine book relieves me of that guilt. This is an outstandingly clear and faithful exposition of what it means to read the New Testament from the perspective of, and with the intention of participating in, the mission of God as revealed in the whole Bible.” —Christopher J. H. Wright, International Ministries Director, Langham Partnership
Using data obtained from structured interviews and responses to questionnaires concerning clergy responses to real and hypothetical situations involving people who are HIV-positive or who have AIDS, the authors illustrate how clergy and organized religious groups confronted a new and acute fatal illness that was initially associated with stigmatized behavior. They demonstrate that many clergy saw their roles as advocates for these individuals and as providers of pastoral and spiritual care, in spite of the rhetoric of conservative and fundamentalist clergy who condemned the victims as an example of the wrath of God against gay and bisexual men. The study also shows that even those who were less actively engaged in AIDS pastoral care and counseling demonstrated tolerance for those affected by it. Follow-up interviews indicate, finally, that as AIDS became more of a chronic illness, the social movement to provide religious and spiritual care and counseling began to wane.
Once the value of human life has been depreciated, as in Roe v. Wade and the Baby Doe Case, no one is safe. Once "quality of life" is substituted for the absolute value of human life itself, we all are endangered. Already respected scientists are calling for a time period following birth (a week or so) to decide if newborns have "sufficient quality of life" to be allowed to live. Already committees of "medical professionals" would like to decide whether the "quality of life" of the elderly or anyone seriously ill is high enough to allow them to go on living.
In this moving book, the renowned pediatric surgeon and Surgeon General of the United States, C. Everett Koop, M.D., joins with one of the leading Christian thinkers of our day, Francis A. Schaeffer, to analyze the widespread implications and frightening loss of human rights brought on by today's practices of abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia. They see the present as a crucial turning point. Choices are being made that undermine human rights at their most basic level. Practices once labeled "unthinkable" are now considered acceptable. The destruction of human life, young and old, is being sanctioned on an ever-increasing scale by the medical profession, by the courts, by parents, and by silent citizens.
"But what can I do?" you ask. "I'm just one person." You can start by reading this book. Yes, it will shock you. And it will make you weep. But it will also help you see how you can actually make a difference.
This ground-breaking study makes a largely unknown religious world accessible to outsiders for the first time. Students and scholars alike will find it a valuable addition to the literature on Japanese religions and society and on the development of Christianity outside the West. By offering an alternative approach to the study and understanding of Christianity as a world religion and the complicated process of cross-cultural diffusion, it represents a landmark that will define future research in the field.
Christopher Marshall first explores the problems involved in applying ethical teachings from the New Testament to mainstream society. He then surveys the extent to which the New Testament addresses criminal justice issues, looking in particular at the concept of the justice of God in the teachings of Paul and Jesus. He also examines the topic of punishment, reviewing the debate in social thinking over the ethics and purpose of punishment -- including capital punishment -- and he advocates a new concept of "restorative punishment." The result of this engaging work is a biblically based challenge to imitate the way of Christ in dealing with both victims and offenders.