Law and the Bible
The Bible is full of law.
Yet too often, Christians either pick and choose verses out of context to bolster existing positions, or assume that any moral judgment the Bible expresses should become the law of the land. Law and the Bible asks: What inspired light does the Bible shed on Christians? participation in contemporary legal systems? It concludes that more often than not the Bible overturns our faulty assumptions and skewed commitments rather than bolsters them. In the process, God gives us greater insight into what all of life, including law, should be.
Each chapter is cowritten by a legal professional and a theologian, and focuses on a key aspect of the biblical witness concerning civil or positive law--that is, law that human societies create to order their communities, implementing and enforcing it through civil government. A foundational text for legal professionals, law and prelaw students, and all who want to think in a faithfully Christian way about law and their relationship to it.
"This excellent resource addresses the interaction of law and Scripture in a manner that is both accessible and scholarly. The creative coauthored essay format makes it a great introduction for all Christians interested in biblical approaches to law, whether they are students, practitioners or scholars. Yet it goes deep as well. Law and the Bible will prompt faithful thinking on this crucial topic."
"Here in East Asia, Christians sometimes have difficulty understanding why the law is so central in the biblical narrative. This collaborative work between a group of excellent theologians and legal scholars will surely be a tremendous help. I hope the interdisciplinary approach here results in intercultural understanding in many more contexts."
"Law and the Bible is very informative and well researched. Christians and students of Christianity will find it enlightening, legal professionals and law students will find it indispensable and Christian legal professionals will find many answers to difficult issues facing them in their day-to-day practices. I recommend it."
"This volume is remarkable for the depth, breadth and accessibility of its analysis. The interdisciplinary collaborations that form the project also reflect the inescapable fact that neither law nor the Christian life neatly follow the boundaries of academic fields. Readers should accept the authors' invitation to join a sweeping conversation about the core issues of our shared humanity as they play out across our biblical and legal traditions."
"Readers may well be part of a stimulating and productive pilgrimage as other scholars address the subject [in Law and the Bible]. Recommended."
"The style of writing in this volume is described in the foreword as 'learned but accessible' (p. 9), and that is a good description. This makes Law and the Bible useful not only to lawyers and law students, pastors and seminarians, but also to individual Christians with an interest in the implications of the Christian faith for civil law."
"Law and the Bible is invaluable for giving Christians a balanced view of the limits and possibilities of contemporary public policy. Readers will have a better understanding of how Scripture may or may not apply to modern legal and public policy problems. This compelling book will be rewarding to lawyers, those interested in politics and justice, and those interested in a deeper understanding of Scripture. It is worth reading and re-reading."
"Regardless of how one frames the task of the Christian lawmaker/advocate or even the concerned Christian citizen, that task will be aided by a thorough knowledge of what the Bible has to say on matters of civil law, making Law and the Bible a valuable resource. The style of writing in this volume is described in the forward as 'learned but accessible,' and that is a good description. The authors' approach to their topics is similar to what one might read in a theological or legal journal, but the authors have left behind the heavy hermeneutical and jurisprudential jargon of their respective disciplines. This makes Law and the Bible a viable resource for not only lawyers and law students, pastors and seminarians, but also individual Christians with an interest in the implications of the Christian faith for civil law, and even non-Christians who want to understand how Christians approach these issues."
"All the book's contributors engage in earnest analysis of the biblical text, a point of reference that remains characteristic of Evangelicalism. . . . Law and the Bible avoids simplistic transposition to the contemporary situation and provides a valuable starting point for serious reflection. Readers who are interested in learning about thoughtful Evangelical approaches to the challenge of biblical authority in a secularized legal world would do well to start with Law and the Bible."
Foreword by John Witte Jr.
1. The Biblical Foundations of Law: Creation, Fall and the Patriarchs - Randy Beck and David VanDrunen
2. Law and Political Order: Israel?s Constitutional History - William S. Brewbaker III and V. Philips Long
3. Civil Law in the Torah: The Mosaic Law in Christian Perspective - David Skeel and Tremper Longman III
4. The Law of Life: Law in the Wisdom Literature - Roger P. Alford and Leslie M. Alford
5. Crying Out for Justice: Civil Law and the Prophets - Barbara Armacost and Peter Enns
6. The Kingdom of God, Law and the Heart: Jesus and the Civil Law - Robert F. Cochran Jr. and Dallas Willard
7. Civil Law and Civil Disobedience: The Early Church and the Law - Joel A. Nichols and James W. McCarty III
8. Living as Christians Under Civil Law: The New Testament Letters, Law and Politics - David M. Smolin and Kar Yong Lim
9. Expectation and Consummation: Law in Eschatological Perspective - John Copeland Nagle and Keith A. Mathison
List of Contributors