Authors: Glen H. Stassen and David P. Gushee
Hardcover: 540 pages
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Today, we will take a look at Section III of the book. Section III is the largest single section of the book and deals with the overarching theme of Life. Section III also begins the process of looking at single ethical issues.
Topics addressed in this section are war and peace, the death penalty, abortion, euthanasia, and biotechnology. They are addressed through the lens of the sacredness of human life.
While all the chapters made me think and reevaluate my beliefs, the chapter of just war, pacifism, and just peacemaking was the chapter that stood out as most interesting to me. This is interesting to me because I have an interest in just war. The authors do a good job of defining the terms just war and pacifism. They then introduce a ‘third way’ for looking at war, just peacemaking. The other feature in this chapter that I really liked was the sections How Not to Argue for…. This balances out the discussion on the different ways of looking at war and presents both sides of the issue.
While the chapter on war was the most interesting, the chapter on the death penalty was the one that challenged me the most. If you asked me a few weeks ago about the death penalty, I would have said that, although flawed, it was needed as a means of retributive justice. After reading this chapter and reevaluating my beliefs, I can no longer support the death penalty. (Rod was also somewhat influential on that change in belief).
Overall, I thought Section III was solid and not likely to cause too much controversy for Christians. The author’s stances on war and the death penalty would be the only areas where there could be the possibility for dissent in some Christian traditions. The author’s arguments for Life are laid out in a logical manner and are consistent with each other.
I received this book free from InterVarsity Press. Providing me a free copy in no way guarantees a favorable review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”