Pastoral Musings from Rain City

it's about 'what is church?' it's about whether 'emergent' is the latest Christian trend or something more substantial. it's musing on what it means to live the city, in America, in community, intergenerationally, at this time in history...

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Kingdom Ethics: A Source for thinking about these things

For those who are interested in diving into the deeper waters of Christian Ethics, one of the best books available on the subject is "Kingdom Ethics" by Stassen and Gushee. It's been a primary source for shaping my own thinking in these matters, primarily because it directs the conversation away from purely disecting the text, inviting us instead to wrestle with applying the broad principles of Jesus' kingdom ethics in various situations. As the book says, "Jesus did not frequently adjudicate rules and exceptions." He taught principles. On the other hand, they do an excellent job of calling the reader, continually, back to scriptural authority, so that we don't simply dismiss Scriptural authority as irrelevant at whatever point it contradicts our own desires.

Of course, through all of this, the big matter in each of our lives is the extent to which we allow these things to actually shape us. By God's grace, we will have increasing opportunities: a prayer walk on Aurora planned for later this summer, plans for reaching out to a group on the margins in our city, and challenges to make space in our lives for celebration, hospitality, spiritual disciplines. When these things begin to occur in our hearts and our life together, the kingdom of God begins to find real expression. And this is what makes the Christian life the great adventure that it is!


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