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With Bible in One Hand and Newspaper in the Other

The Bible in the Public Square

by Charles R. Peterson

Imprint: Resource Publications

204 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.41 in

  • Paperback
  • 9781532652653
  • Published: December 2018

$25.00 / £19.00 / AU$34.00

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  • eBook
  • 9781532652677
  • Published: December 2018

$25.00 / £19.00 / AU$34.00

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  • Hardcover
  • 9781532652660
  • Published: December 2018

$45.00 / £34.00 / AU$61.00

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The famous theologian Karl Barth is known for his admonition that Christians should evaluate major news events in the light of the Bible rather than vice versa. This book reviews attempts at implementing Barth's principle in more than a hundred responses to newspaper editorial opinions over a decades-spanning period. In this exercise, five major theological themes frame the moral engagement of ten newsworthy subject categories. The analysis demonstrates how a biblically-based moral framing can define a center-left politically partisan stance as a guide or challenge to civil public dialogue. A weakness of this venue is that space limitations of newspaper editorial pages allow little potential for achieving what Barth probably had in mind for an effective Christian witness. A different venue is therefore needed. Numerous barriers inhibit such dialogue within Christian congregations, including the stagnating polarization in US politics that has a parallel in most religious traditions. One can hope that the major role for a biblical witness to American culture has not become limited to that partial calling of the Old Testament prophets: warning of the negative historical judgments that risk coming to any society that fails to adequately attempt living out a reverential fear of God.
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