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Politicians and pundits regularly invoke the Bible in social and political debates on a host of controversial social and political issues, including: abortion, stem-cell research, gay marriage, the death penalty, separation of church and state, family values, climate change, income distribution, teaching evolution in schools, taxation, school prayer, aid for the poor, and immigration. But is the Bible often used out of context in these major debates? This book includes essays by fourteen biblical scholars who examine the use of the Bible in political debates, uncovering the original historical contexts and meanings of the biblical verses that are commonly cited. The contributors take a non-confessional approach, rooted in non-partisan scholarship, to show how specific texts have at times been distorted in order to support particular views. At the same time, they show how the Bible can sometimes make for unsettling reading in the modern day. The key questions remain: What does the Bible really say? Should the Bible be used to form public policy?
Politicians and pundits regularly invoke the Bible in social and political debates on a host of controversial social and political issues, including: abortion, stem-cell research, gay marriage, the death penalty, separation of church and state, family values, climate change, income distribution, teaching evolution in schools, taxation, school prayer, aid for the poor, and immigration. But is the Bible often used out of context in these major debates? This book includes essays by fourteen biblical scholars who examine the use of the Bible in political debates, uncovering the original historical contexts and meanings of the biblical verses that are commonly cited. The contributors take a non-confessional approach, rooted in non-partisan scholarship, to show how specific texts have at times been distorted in order to support particular views. At the same time, they show how the Bible can sometimes make for unsettling reading in the modern day. The key questions remain: What does the Bible really say? Should the Bible be used to form public policy?
A variety of perspectives exist within the Christian community when it comes to political issues and political involvement. This comprehensive and readable book presents a political philosophy from the perspective that the Gospel pertains to all of life so Christians should be involved in political issues. In brief, this is an analysis of conservative and liberal plans to do good for the nation, evaluated in light of the Bible and common sense. In this ground-breaking book, recognized evangelical Bible professor Wayne Grudem rejects five mistaken views about Christian influence on politics: (1) “compel religion,” (2) “exclude religion,” (3) “all government is demonic,” (4) “do evangel-ism, not politics,” and (5) “do politics, not evangelism.” He proposes a better alternative: (6) “significant Christian influence on government.” Then he explains the Bible’s teachings about the purpose of civil government and the characteristics of good or bad government. Does the Bible support some form of democracy? Should judges and the courts hold the ultimate power in a nation? With respect to specific political issues, Grudem argues that most people’s political views depend on deep-seated assump-tions about several basic moral and even theological questions, such as whether God exists, whether absolute moral stan-dards can be known, whether there is good and evil in each person’s heart, whether people should be accountable for their good and bad choices, whether property should belong to individuals or to society, and whether the purpose of the earth’s resources is to bring benefit to mankind. After addressing these foundational questions, Grudem provides a thoughtful, carefully-reasoned analysis of over fifty specific issues dealing with the protection of life, marriage, the family and children, economic issues and taxation, the environment, national defense, relationships to other nations, freedom of speech and religion, quotas, and special interests. He makes frequent application to the current policies of the Democratic and Republi-can parties in the United States, but the principles discussed here are relevant for any nation.
There is a paradox in American Christianity. According to Gallup, nearly eight in ten Americans regard the Bible as either the literal word of God or the inspired by God. At the same time, surveys have revealed gaps in these same Americans' biblical literacy. These discrepancies reveal the complex relationship between American Christians and Holy Writ, a subject that is widely acknowledged but rarely investigated. The Bible in American Life is a sustained, collaborative reflection on the ways Americans use the Bible in their personal lives. It also considers how other influences, including religious communities and the internet, shape individuals' comprehension of scripture. Employing both quantitative methods (the General Social Survey and the National Congregations Study) and qualitative research (historical studies for context), The Bible in American Life provides an unprecedented perspective on the Bible's role outside of worship, in the lived religion of a broad cross-section of Americans both now and in the past. The Bible has been central to Christian practice, and has functioned as a cultural touchstone, throughout American history, but too little is known about how people engage it every day. How do people read the Bible for themselves outside of worship? How have denominational and parachurch publications influenced the interpretation and application of scripture? How have clergy and congregations influenced individual understandings of scripture? These questions are especially pressing in a time when denominations are losing much of their traditional cultural authority, technology is changing reading and cognitive habits, and subjective experience is continuing to eclipse textual authority as the mark of true religion. From the broadest scale imaginable, national survey data about all Americans, down to the smallest details, such as the portrayal of Noah and his ark in children's Bibles, this book offers insight and illumination from scholars across the intellectual spectrum. It will be useful and informative for scholars seeking to understand changes in American Christianity as well as clergy seeking more effective ways to preach and teach about scripture in a changing environment.
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Provides the general public and undergraduates with an introductory level text in the Hebrew Bible and New Testament.
In an increasingly secularised society, the average person is unlikely to have a working knowledge of the Bible. Yet a great deal of our culture is built on stories or ideas that come from the Bible. Literature, art, music, language and even the fabric of our society - such as our justice system - is built on Christian concepts and biblical references. THE WRITING ON THE WALL provides a fascinating introduction to the Bible's best-known, and most influential, stories.

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