Christians are regularly denigrated for believing Biblical teachings that were broadly accepted by the general culture less than a decade ago. The pace of change in the culture, powered by sea changes in news media, entertainment, the business world, and large parts of political and governmental authorities, seems so accelerated that it often bewilders even those who accept the changes uncritically. And this seeming rejection of Christian values has accompanied a rejection of the values of Western civilization generally.
Multitudes of books have been written and read to understand what has happened and, equally as important, to respond and deal with the change. Luke H. Davis, as a high school teacher of Biblical ethics, has witnessed and experienced the changes. He also has to help the students he teaches to understand and deal with the issues that seem to confront them, and all Christians, at every turn.
And he’s created a navigational aid, Tough Issues, True Hope: A Concise Journey Through Christian Ethics. In short, succinct, and conversational chapters, he’s assembled and summarized the main issues where Christians find themselves in conflict with the culture. Each issue is summarized, its Biblical position discussed, and then questions provided for further discussion. Davis uses clear, easy-to-understand language, writing a book that’s as suitable for high school and college students as it is for adults in the workplace, the home, and church. That’s no simple accomplishment.
The list of issues is staggering and begins with one that many Christians are unaware of – words and language. Words and language matter tremendously and can be used not only to illuminate but also to propagandize. (I can still remember when newspapers referred to “pro-life” and “pro-abortion,” until they evolved into “anti-abortion” and “pro-choice.”)
|Luke H. Davis|
The issues Davis considers includes technology and social networks; diversity and unity; abortion; murder and capital punishment; euthanasia; suicide; disabilities; bioethics; gender; marriage; divorce; pornography; same-sex marriage; and more. He even discusses the concepts of stewardship as they relate to the individual, the workplace, the environment, and immigration (legal and illegal).
It’s a daunting list. It’s daunting even to consider how Davis researched and considered each issue. Equally impressive is the tone of the book; it’s not condemning or strident, but honest, candid, thorough, and loving. A non-Christian reading the book would likely miss how much care and love went into the discussion.
Davis teaches at Westminster Christian Academy in St. Louis and chairs the Bible Department there. He’s also taught at schools in Louisiana, Florida, and Virginia. He describes himself as “Presbyterian body, Lutheran heart, Anglican blood, Orthodox spirit,” all of which have served him well in writing the Cameron Ballack mysteries. He has published three Ballack mysteries, Litany of Secrets (2013), The Broken Cross (2015), and A Shattered Peace (2017), and the first book of a new series, Joel: The Merivalkan Chronicles Book 1 (2017).
Tough Issues, True Hope is one of the best books I’ve read on the subject of culture, issues, and Christianity. It’s comprehensive without a deluge of details. It’s highly readable. And its solidly grounded in what is pre-eminent for believing Christians – the word of God.