Dawn identifies the social & cultural issues & attitudes (fetters) that contribute to despair/lack of hope in the world & provides a way for Christians to identify appropriate primary concerns (focal concerns) around which they should live their lives and, in the process, remove the despair in their own lives and the lives of others in the world. She is concerned here with moral authority and character formation, and identifies a means of character and community formation, essential to maintaining Christian identity and living Christian lives. Dawn identifies consumerism, the seductive influence of technology, our misapprehensions about what "communication" is, and popular vs high culture as components of life that help to destroy hope by contributing to our general lack or satisfaction with what we have and our need to continually keep grabbing for more-indiscriminately. We do this, she argues, because we don't know how ro what to value. how to choose what's important to us and weed out the rest. Her overriding concern here is How should Christians organize their lives so as to live in ways that allow them to love God and neighbor, a question related to her longstanding concerns for justice, peace, community, worship, and social and personal values. Dawn is interested in this book in the issue of moral authority/character formation: how can we know ourselves and make appropriate decisions. She uses the term "focal concerns" to identify those organizing principles that can empower/enable Christians to identify what of culture there is to value and what there is that can be discarded so that they can get on with living the Christian life. It takes community formation to get to this pointand community discernment to maintain this kind of knowledge and behavior, to identify the appropriate questions about the foundations of what we're doing. She provides a model, or narrative, in Scripture for such character and community formation and identifies ways to live the model.