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Cokesbury

Consistently Pro-Life

The Ethics of Bloodshed in Ancient Christianity
  • By Rob Arner
  • Foreword by J. Jayakiran Sebastian
$19.00
Product Description
Synopsis: Consistently Pro-Life is a book about killing. Specifically, it takes up the question of when and under what circumstances is it morally justifiable for a Christian to take human life. The murder of abortionist Dr. George Tiller on Pentecost Sunday 2009 reignited the national debate over abortion by focusing attention on the seeming hypocrisy of those who would kill to defend life. But many times, those who would condemn the killing of Dr. Tiller would readily justify the killing of human beings in other circumstances. This leads to the question: What basis do we have to judge a specific act of violence as morally good or ethically justifiable in light of the gospel of Jesus Christ? Rob Arner explores these issues and argues that the deliberate killing of any human being is incompatible with the moral life of a follower of Jesus. Readers will discover in the witness of the ancient Christian church an example of how modern Christians might consistently apply gospel precepts toward questions of the taking of human life. Through a new taxonomy that categorizes the ancient Christian witnesses according to individual issues such as abortion/infanticide, killing in war, and the bloody Roman "games," Consistently Pro-Life demonstrates that the early church consistently opposed the killing of human persons, and suggests that the discipline and moral clarity of the ancient Christians on issues of violence can show us a new way forward in a time of polarizing culture wars. Endorsements: "Many have noted that in our 'time between the times' we have much to learn from the ecumenical consensus in the early church. Others have called us to attend to the 'ancient-future' practices of the church for a revitalization of current Christian worship. Some have even reminded us that grace and good works cannot, according to the early church, be separated. However, almost no one has reminded us as clearly as has Rob Arner, in this compelling and wonderfully written book, that if we are to be true to the substance of the teachings of the Ancient Church, true to the Spirit by which it was animated, then we must recover their commitment to a Consistently Pro-Life theological ethic." -Mark Thiessen Nation Eastern Mennonite Seminary "Consistently Pro-Life presents a well-argued, well-documented case for the view that the early church before Constantine opposed all killing of human beings. It also clearly connects the thinking of the early church with our contemporary debates about abortion, capital punishment, and war. Just War advocates will object at some points, but Arner provides data and a thesis that cannot be ignored." -Ronald J. Sider President, Evangelicals for Social Action "Rob Arner offers an important new approach to the issue of Christian participation in violence through a striking combination of contemporary and historical study . . . I personally have become convinced that followers of Christ give up their sacred birthright when they walk away from the radical nonviolence of Christ and his earliest followers. Arner's very important book will help many reach the same conclusion." -David P. Gushee Mercer University Author Biography: Rob Arner is a PhD candidate in Theology and Christian Ethics at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, and an adjunct professor at Chestnut Hill College.

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    Product Specs
    • SKU: 9781606086124
    • Manufacturer: Pickwick Pubn
    • Language of Text: English
    • ISBN 13: 9781606086124
    • Publication Date: 11/01/2010
    • Format: Paperback
    • Author: Rob Arner
    • Page Count: 136
    • Width: 5.90 inches
    • Height: 0.40 inches
    • Length: 8.80 inches
    • Weight: 0.50 pounds
    Shipping & Returns
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