Book Giveaway – Moral Choices by Scott Rae

I used Scott Rae’s book Moral Choices in two different ethics classes in seminary and benefitted from it a great deal.  It’s now in it’s third edition, and thanks to the generous folks at Zondervan (@Zondervan on Twitter, Facebook here), I’m giving away a copy at Cloud of Witnesses.

As the subtitle says, the book is an introduction to (Christian) ethics.  In the first four chapters, Rae lays out some theoretical groundwork by pointing to various elements of a Christian approach to ethics, and then surveys various ethical systems such as utilitarianism, deontological approaches, and virtue ethics.  Chapter 4 provides a general framework for making ethical decisions.

Chapters 5 through 12 take up a variety of ethical issues and treat them from a Christian viewpoint.  These timely topics include abortion, cloning, euthanasia, sexual ethics, war, and economics.  Each chapter includes review questions, case studies for discussion, suggestions for further reading, and helpful sidebars.

If you’re looking for a concise but comprehensive survey of Christian ethics from an evangelical perspective, Moral Choices is one of the best in print in my opinion.

Giveaway Details:

To enter the giveaway, comment on this post and tell me the best book you’ve read recently.  (Please include your email address in the comment form so I can contact you if you win.)  Also, please share this post on the social media site of your choice (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).  I’ll announce the winner this weekend.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Book Review – Why You Think the Way You Do


  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (August 1, 2009)
  • Amazon
  • Christian Book Distributors
  • In this book, Sunshine attempts to explain “the development of Western civilization from the perspective of the changes in worldview from the Roman Empire to the early years of the twenty-first century” (16). While referencing major thinkers on occasion, the interest is more specifically on the non-elite, wider culture. He further contends that one cannot understand Western culture without an understanding of Christianity (17). While this is likely true, Sunshine turns this survey of Western worldviews into an apologetic for Christianity, specifically Evangelicalism.

    Central to his argument is the premise that Christianity has had a positive cultural influence on the West, starting with its transformation and redemption of the Roman world in which it was introduced (54). While Sunshine would likely admit that sometimes Christians have done bad things in history, the overall effect of Christianity has been positive. Clearly, this is directly antithetical to the claims of the New Atheists. Consequently, Sunshine argues that the further Western culture moves away from Christianity, the more it returns to the barbarism of Pagan Rome (211).

    In the interest of accessibility, very few citations are included. This omission makes many of the more controversial historical claims hard to support in dialogue with others who may not share Sunshine’s interpretation. For example, while the flat earth myth has been thoroughly debunked, it would be helpful to cite that since it is a common myth (109). A citation for Pascal, Gassendi and probabilism would have been helpful since at first glance Pascal opposed probabilism in his Provincial Letters and Gassendi was interpreting Pascal’s barometric experiments rather than the other way around.

    While an interpretation of history is often an aspect of communal identity, this work could have benefited from a more balanced handling of the shortcomings of Christians within history. As it stands, the author’s evident bias for Christianity and conservative American political values (such as capitalism and democracy) comes off more like partisanship than a survey of Western worldviews.

    – Reviewed by Adam Reece

    [tweetmeme only_single=”false”]
    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

    Winner of Book Giveaway!

    Congratulations to Tracy W. for winning the random drawing for Why You Think the Way You Do by Glenn Sunshine, graciously provided by Zondervan!

    Many thanks to everyone who entered the drawing.  Look for more giveaways in the very near future.


    [tweetmeme only_single=”false”]

    Book Giveaway – Why You Think the Way You Do

    Later this week I’ll be posting my friend Adam Reece’s review of Glenn Sunshine’s book Why You Think the Way You Do (Zondervan, 2009).  Thanks to the generous folks at Zondervan, I have an extra copy of the book to give away.

    To be entered, simply subscribe to this blog’s RSS feed or email newsletter, and let me know you did in a comment on this post.  If you’re a current subscriber and would like to be entered, please leave a comment as well.

    Here’s a short synopsis of the book:

    People often talk about worldview when describing the philosophy that guides their lives. But how have we come by our worldviews, and what impact did Christianity have on those that are common to Western civilization? This authoritative, accessible survey traces the development of the worldviews that underpin the Western world. It demonstrates the decisive impact that the growth of Christianity had in transforming the outlook of pagan Roman culture into one that, based on biblical concepts of humanity and its relationship with God, established virtually all the positive aspects of Western civilization. . . . Unique among books on the topic, this work discusses Western worldviews as a continuous narrative rather than as simply a catalogue of ideas, and traces the effects changes in worldview had on society.


    [tweetmeme only_single=”false”]
    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

    Bookmark and Share

    Recent Free Books and Lectures Online

    Lots of good audio and text resources are showing up online these days.  Here are a few I’ve recently discovered.

    • Three courses by Old Testament scholar John Goldingay (Fuller Seminary) are now available on iTunes.  The courses are The Pentateuch, The Prophets, and Biblical Hermeneutics. (HT Nijay Gupta)

    • The Genesis volume of the new Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary (ZIBBCOT) is available on Scribd for the month of October.  According to the Zondervan website “We’ll be posting additional commentaries from ZIBBCOT over the next 5 months.”


    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

    Bookmark and Share

    Free Download of The Mormon Mirage, Ch. 8

    In May of this year biblical scholar and former Mormon, Latayne Scott, blogged a five part series for us on Mormonism (find part 1 here). If you haven’t read the new and revised 3rd edition of her classic book, The Mormon Mirage: A Former Member Looks at the Mormon Church Today, you can now read Chapter 8 (including the end notes) on Scribd. Enjoy!


    (Via Koinonia)

    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

    Bookmark and Share

    Review of The New Testament in Antiquity

    Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth Blog has a helpful review of Zondervan’s recent New Testament introduction The New Testament in Antiquity.

    One observation that stands out is the following:

    But the old adage remains true; you can’t judge a book by its cover.  So what about the overall quality of NTA?  How useful a survey/introduction is it?  I think that for its intended audience (i.e., undergraduates) it’s a very useful resource.  We need to keep the authors’ four goals in mind when flipping through this volume.  They wanted a text that was: academic, accessible, contextual, and confessional.  I submit that they’ve succeeded on all counts but I’ll grant that it’s this last goal that will throw many readers.  The authors say:

    [W]e wanted a volume that is responsive to the confessional commitments of the evangelical tradition. Too often academic treatments of the New Testaments view faith commitments as passé. We wanted a scholarly text that treated the pages of the New Testament as Scripture, which has spoken to the church through the centuries. (p. 9)

    I think it’s rather refreshing to see this kind of honesty from the beginning, and it’s also commendable that the authors haven’t thought it necessary to check their faith at the door.  They’re quite content to view the NT as divinely inspired Scripture recognizing that “God is at work in and through th[o]se chapters to bring life and transformation to all who seek him there.” (p. 16)

    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

    Bookmark and Share

    Download the TNIV Free for Kindle and iPhone

    Sweet amazon kindle app for the iPhone
    Image by keithlam via Flickr

    Christian Retailing passes on the good news.

    Zondervan is reporting more than 7,000 free downloads of the Today’s New International Version (TNIV) Kindle edition in the first two weeks since the company began offering the digital Bible version April 4. The promotion will continue through June.

    Compatible with Amazon’s Kindle book reader, the digital TNIV has risen to No. 36 on the Amazon Kindle charts, followed at No. 37 by Crossway Books & Bibles’ English Standard Version Bible–also a free download. Baker Publishing Group is also offering the Bible in God’s Word Translation as a free download.

    Crossway has also promoted its ESV Study Bible with a special price of $9.99 in the Kindle store. Company officials told Christian Retailing that the digital Bible version had reached No. 1 on the Kindle chart since its release.

    If you download the Kindle app for your iPhone, you can access these on your iPhone as well.  I don’t own a Kindle, so I use my iPhone exclusively to read these free downloads.  I believe this will also work for the iPod Touch, but I’m not sure.  Can someone with an iPod Touch let me know?

    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

    Bookmark and Share