A Moral Creed for All Christians

A Moral Creed for All Christians

A Moral Creed for All Christians

A Moral Creed for All Christians

Synopsis

Maguire urges that Christianity's real relevance for the renewal of American public life lies not in the myopic morality of the Christian Right nor in any particular program of the Left but in the enduring relevance of Jesus and biblical Christianity. He explains Christianity's indispensable moral conviction about God's care, rapport with the earth, the nature of ownership, the bond between justice and peace, the nature of enmity, the illogic of militarism, and the creative potential of the human species. Includes questions for group discussion.

Excerpt

G. K. Chesterton exaggerated when he said that Christianity had not failed—that it had not even been tried. in fact, at times in history it has been tried and has led societies into new and enlivening moral vistas. This is the way with all major religions. Each of them is in its way a classic in the art of cherishing. At times their moral force is felt and history turns a moral corner. At times they fall into decadence and are even used as a cover for mean-spirited iniquity.

At this moment, confusing signals are coming forth from Christianity. “Christian moral values” are paraded in the political arena in ways that are often hard to square with the moral sensitivities of the early Jesus movement. the rich theories of justice and peace that were the hallmarks of the Christian breakthrough are only rarely visible and influential. the championing of the poor that was the test of Christian authenticity is not much in evidence. the poor can rightly wonder what it means to say that the work of Jesus and his followers is “good news to the poor” (Luke 4:18). the 1.3 billion people in “absolute poverty” (an all too abstract term for slow starvation) do not see that their plight is the prime passion of the world’s Christians. Military budgets soar and poverty abounds and hunger and thirst go unrelieved. Most Christians stand passively by.

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