Taking the New Testament as the charter of Christian liberty, distinguished biblical scholar James D.G. Dunn approaches the complex subject of freedom from the perspective of Scripture in order to demonstrate what is distinctively 'Christian' liberty. After opening with an overview of the historical development of the concept of liberty, Dunn goes on to examine three scriptural "test cases" that help to elucidate the (often tense) relationship (1) between freedom and authority, as revealed in the responses of Jesus to the dominant conventions of his day, (2) between liberty and the self, derived from Paul's teaching about sin, death, and the law, and (3) between liberty and society, illustrated by a masterly exposition of Romans 14-15. In a day when the forces of fundamentalism are gathering strength once again on all sides, the theme of liberty, and not least 'Christian' liberty, is one that demands attention. This study shows that the "freedom of Jesus" is something no Christian need fear, that liberty is not a threat to faith but one of its prime expressions.
James D. G. Dunn
James D.G. Dunn is the Lightfoot Professor of Divinity at the University of Durham, England. His numerous books include 'Baptism in the Holy Spirit', 'Jesus' Call to Discipleship', and 'The Justice of God: A Fresh Look at the Old Doctrine of Justification by Faith', which he wrote with Alan M. Suggate.