Bestselling Religious Studies - Ethics in 2020
Ethics: Approaching Moral Decisions (Contours of Christian Philosophy)
- Brand new
Comparative Religious Ethics: A Narrative Approach to Global Ethics
Ethics (Oxford Readers)
The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
- The Righteous Mind Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
52 Uncommon Dates: A Couple's Adventure Guide for Praying, Playing, and Staying Together
- Moody Publishers
The Problem of Pain
#Staymarried: A Couples Devotional: 30-Minute Weekly Devotions to Grow In Faith And Joy from I Do to Ever After
The Man God Has For You: 7 traits to Help You Determine Your Life Partner
Ethics (Dietrich Bonhoeffer-Reader's Edition)
31 Creative Ways To Love & Encourage Him: One Month To a More Life Giving Relationship (31 Day Challenge) (Volume 2)
- 31 Creative Ways to Love Encourage Him One Month to a More Life Giving Relationship
A Season of Grace: Embracing God's Gifts in the Autumn of Our Lives
- On Bullshit
Book Review of Love, Acceptance & Forgiveness by Jerry Cook with Stanley Baldwin
The concepts of love, acceptance and forgiveness make up the foundation of Christian ethics. The 21st century church must reclaim these biblical concepts in order to reach people in the postmodern era.
As I was thinking of the practical aspect of the main ideas I was curious how this would play out in the life of the church. How do you get the church to this basic level? Cook provides the answer in the first chapter when he says, "But before there can be a coming to wholeness, certain guarantees must be made to people. Otherwise they will not risk themselves to be open with us enough to receive healing. The minimal guarantee we must make to people is that they will be loved-always, under every circumstance, with no exception." I believe this is key. People must be loved unconditionally. They have to feel a sense of acceptance and belonging. As much as I agree with this point I am well aware of the challenge in implementing this concept in the church. There are Christians who believe that non-believers need to change first before they can be accepted and loved. In other words, they have to clean up their act first; acceptance into the church becomes conditional. This requirement is a deterrent. People generally stay away from this type of church. Instead of feeling welcome they feel uncomfortable. We must get rid of barriers so people can be loved into a nurturing community of believers.
In order for the church to promote true healing, Christians have to be committed to loving one another. "I must know that you will not condemn me when my weaknesses and flaws and sins begin to show. I need assurance with no bitter aftertaste." I think this is essential in the church. When our individual flaws begin to show there has to be enough faith among Christians to show patience and understanding. Our role is not to judge but to nurture and equip individuals so they can move forward in their relationships with others and God. Too many people leave the church because they don't feel good enough or accepted by the community. I have to admit, many of us in leadership are guilty of this too. As believers we have to set the example. It is our responsibility to love people especially when they come to us broken and asking for help. "Forgiveness is releasing another from your own personal judgment."
The church as a force is an interesting concept. Consider the growth of churches in other countries. Amazing things are happening around the world because Christians are living out this concept. The church spreads and mobilizes as a movement. According to Cook, "The church is people, equipped to serve, meeting needs everywhere in Jesus' name." This concept should change the purpose and mission of the modern church. We ought to focus less attention on the building and programs and shift the emphasis on the needs of people. The goal of this model is to equip believers for ministry outside of the church. Sharing the good news shouldn't be limited to a select few. Every member is a qualified kingdom worker prepared for potential opportunities. When people see a need they are empowered to move. Compassion must be woven into the fabric of the church. In this way the emphasis is on equipping believers for kingdom work. "The church as a field has goals expressed in numbers, budget, and facility. The church as a force has goals that are personal and individual: We want each member to come to wholeness, be equipped and be released into the world to minister."
When the church functions as a force, the "pastoral function-to equip the saints for the work of the ministry-is preserved." This notion shifts responsibility from one person to all the believers, everyone is trained to serve. The ideas contained in this book are truly timeless: people all around the world are discovering the beauty of love, acceptance and forgiveness. The church is God's extended hand throughout every generation. I'm excited to be part of the movement. These are challenging times but nonetheless exciting for those who promote the beauty of kingdom life.
Love, Acceptance and Forgiveness: Equipping the Church to Be Truly Christian in a Non-Christian World by Jerry Cook and Stanley C. Baldwin