Discussion of current "hot" topics that churches need to address, such as food security and the ever-expanding world population, the welfare system, civil and human rights, the war on drugs, abortion, immigration, and the destruction of ecosystems.
Cobb discusses why, historically, churches have been viewed as "weak in their affirmation of progressive concerns and as reacting conservatively to new challenges to achieve inclusiveness and justice." Some weaknesses are that denominations are deeply divided over political issues; information is not filtered down from leaders to laity so that most Christians are ignorant of global economic and ecological concerns; and mainline church membership is declining because of churches' inability to deal with current issues, while more conservative churches are gaining in strength and dominate the media, thus creating a warped view of what the majority of Christians feel. Churches have taken a more passive role in the solution of political issues, under the guise of "separation of church and state," and have generally been slow to change old views and take a firm stance on current topics such as women in the clergy, homosexuality, and racism. He explains how religion is important in the solution to these issues, and discusses Members of the Mobilization for the Human Family, a Christian organization devoted to dealing with contemporary problems.