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Showing posts with the label Christian ethics

Spotlight- Movie Review

  Spotlight Director   Tom McCarthy Writers   Tom McCarthy   Josh Singer US Release 6 November 2015 My wife and I saw the award-winning film,  Spotlight . We both came away shocked and disturbed. The actors did a superb job at evoking a strong emotional response to the outrageous behavior of church and community leaders who covered-up child sexual abuse in Boston. The damage to human lives is horrendous. For me, the timing of the film is ironic. Two days before seeing the film, I reviewed proofs on my book  A House Divided:  Sexuality, Morality, and Christian Cultures . The book represents two years of work examining sexuality in the church from the perspective of moral psychology. I aim to promote open discussions of healthy Christian sexuality. But I also wrote about sexual abuse because it would be irresponsible to ignore it. As  Spotlight  illustrates, sex abuse happens in the church and a lot of people get seriously hurt. Spotlight is the name of the investigative unit at the Bost

Why I am not a Christian - Bertrand Russell - A book Review

 Why I Am Not A         Christian By   Bertrand Russell Reviewed by   Geoffrey W. Sutton   I am still surprised by the memory of a professor at a highly conservative college who included Russell’s book, Why I am not a Christian as assigned reading in a Philosophy of Christianity class. I don’t recall what the professor said about the collection of essays so many years ago. However, it is a classic work and deserves at least a look by those like me interested in the psychology of religion and related fields like philosophy. The lead essay answers the author’s question in the title. It was presented as a lecture at the Battersea Town Hall (London, England) in 1927. His logical thinking is evident early on as he attempts to define the concept, Christian . He considers a few options and concludes first, that a Christian must believe in God and immortality, and second, a Christian must at least think of Christ as the “best and wisest of men.” The essay proceeds to explain w

Ethics in the Age of the Spirit- A book review

ETHICS IN THE AGE OF THE SPIRIT:  RACE, WOMEN, WAR,  AND THE ASSEMBLIES OF GOD      by Howard N. Kenyon.       Reviewed by          Geoffrey W. Sutton               The topics of race, women, and war, in Kenyon’s subtitle, are certainly timely issues. In 2016, the son of a Black father and White mother neared the end of his two terms as the 44th U.S. president while a woman campaigned to replace him. Meanwhile, the U.S. was at war, as it has been for 222 years since 1776 ( Charpentier, 2017) . Drawing on archival data, Howard N. Kenyon examines Pentecostals’ ethical response to racism, sexism, and war in the context of their fundamentalist roots and the historic cultural changes that have occurred in the past one hundred years. Howard N. Kenyon is a fourth-generation Pentecostal. He earned his Ph.D. in Ethics from Baylor University in 1988. Ethics in the Age of the Spirit is an updated version of his dissertation. He is currently Vice President of E

Reading the Bible Again-Metaphors to Live By - by Marcus Borg

A Review of Marcus Borg’s  Reading the Bible Again for the First Time :  Taking the Bible Seriously but Not literally . By Geoffrey W. Sutton   My earliest memory of a conflict between the Bible and the observable world happened sometime in late childhood when I learned that the moon was not a light as it plainly said in my King James Version of Genesis 1:16. It was downhill from there. Like many of my friends, we learned a near literal interpretation of the Bible from parents with a limited education and churches where teachers shared a blend of fundamentalism and evangelicalism. Their application of select biblical laws, commandments, and rules to contemporary life seemed strangely arbitrary and unnecessarily restrictive. I should like to think Marcus Borg’s, Reading the Bible Again for the First Time , would have saved me considerable puzzlement—and likely some distress. I’ll say more later but first, a summary of Reading the Bible Again for the First Time . ****

Moral Teaching of Paul --A Book Review

THE MORAL TEACHING   OF PAUL SELECTED ISSUES 3RD EDITION      BY VICTOR PAUL FURNISH Reviewed by Geoffrey W. Sutton The Moral Teaching of Paul is one of the books I cited in A House Divided.   This third edition comes some 30 years after the first edition and aims to expand our understanding of the sociocultural context of Paul's Ministry related to contemporary moral issues. Before discussing the moral topics, Furnish reminds readers in Chapter 1 about Paul's authorship, which at this point appears firm for Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon. Disputed works include Ephesians, Colossians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy. The disputed works have been variously dated in a range from the 70s to the early second century. The importance of identifying Paul's works is a matter of emphasis thus, Furnish focuses attention on the undisputed texts to understand Paul's moral theology. Furnish advises readers