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New Issues Facing Christians Today
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Issues Facing Christians Today immediately became essential reading for all thinking Christians when it was first published. It has now been revised and fully updated to tackle the diverse array of social and moral responsibilities facing us today. This new edition builds on the previous one, examining the contemporary realities of war, the trauma of unemployment, the changing face of human rights, our environmental awakening from Rio to Kyoto and many more contemporary challenges. As the culture wars continue this book will remain an essential contribution, helping to define Christian social and moral thinking well into the new millennium.
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Table of Contents

CONTENTS Preface to the First Edition (1984) xi Preface to the Second Edition (1990) xiv Preface to the Third Edition (1999) xvi Part I Christians in a Non-Christian Society 1 Involvement: is it our concern? 3 The evangelical heritage of social concern 3 Reasons for 'The Great Reversal' 8 The Church and politics 13 The biblical basis for social concern 17 Practical action 31 2 Complexity: can we think straight? 33 A Christian mind 36 The reality of God 41 The paradox of our humanness 43 The future of society 47 An appendix on postmodernity 50 3 Pluralism: should we impose our views? 53 Imposition 55 Laissez-faire 57 Persuasion 59 Examples of persuasion by argument 62 Political systems 66 4 Alienation: have we any influence? 70 Salt and light 73 Prayer and evangelism 76 Witness and protest 81 Example and groups 85 Part II Global Issues 5 Wars and rumours of wars 91 Contemporary realities 91 Theological and moral reflections 98 The call for nuclear disarmament 110 Questions and qualifications 113 Christian peace-making 119 6 Our human environment 123 Reasons for environmental concern 124 The biblical perspective 130 The conservation debate 135 Contemporary awareness 139 7 North-South economic inequality 143 The Brandt Commission reports 144 Debt and development 149 The principle of unity 154 The principle of equality 158 Personal and economic deductions 161 8 Human rights 166 Human rights violations 166 Concern for human rights 169 Human dignity 173 Human equality 175 Human responsibility 178 Part III Social Issues 9 Work and unemployment 185 Attitudes to work 185 Self-fulfilment 188 The service of others and of God 191 The trauma of unemployment 197 Solutions and palliatives 199 The role of the Church 201 Conclusion 206 10 Industrial relations 210 The biblical principle of mutuality 211 Abolish discrimination 214 Increase participation 217 Emphasize co-operation 226 11 The multi-racial dream 234 Slavery and the American racial problem 235 German anti-Semitism and South African apartheid 239 Change in South Africa 242 British attitudes and tensions 246 Biblical foundations for multi-racialism 253 12 Poverty, wealth and simplicity 259 Three approaches to poverty 260 Who are the poor? The paradox of poverty 264 Good news for the poor 269 Three options for rich Christians 273 Part IV Sexual Issues 13 Women, men and God 285 The rise of feminism 285 Equality 289 Complementarity 294 Responsibility 298 Ministry 310 14 Marriage and divorce 319 Changing attitudes 320 Old Testament teaching 322 The teaching of Jesus 328 The teaching of Paul 333 Irretrievable breakdown 337 Personal and pastoral realities 341 15 Abortion and euthanasia 345 The revolution in public attitudes 346 The key issue 349 The biblical basis 354 A contemporary Christian debate 359 Human fertilization 362 Techniques and exceptions 368 A call to action 373 Euthanasia 376 16 Same-sex partnerships? 382 The context for discussion 382 The biblical prohibitions 385 Sexuality and marriage in the Bible 392 Contemporary arguments considered 397 The AIDS epidemic 406 Faith, hope and love 410 Conclusion 17 A call for Christian leadership 421 Vision 422 Industry 426 Perseverance 427 Service 430 Discipline 433 Notes 436

About the Author

The Reverend Dr. John Stott is Rector Emeritus of All Souls Church, Langham Place in London, England, and has a worldwide ministry as a Bible expositor, speaker, and writer.

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'A splendid book, worthy of thorough study.' Archbishop George Carey

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