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By Gordon S. Jackson

This booklet argues that during Western democracies, Christians of all theological and political backgrounds needs to be ardent advocates of advancing, now not curtailing, freedom of speech. they should achieve this either inside their very own ranks and within the more and more secular societies within which they stay.

This examine offers the idea that of loose expression, and its contrary of censorship, as a device for the Western church (and the USA church particularly) to reply extra correctly and successfully to controversy. of their so much serious shape, those controversies result in either formal and casual obstacles on loose expression, as Christians search to silence people with whom they such a lot stridently disagree. This learn is well timed given the Western church’s present kingdom of flux because it attempts to figure out its identification and undertaking in a post-Christian surroundings. The ebook will entice a variety of considerate Christians who could welcome principles on how the church may still refine and dwell out its project within the early twenty-first century.

The research hence explores the church’s perpetual quest for stability on fronts. First, in the church, there's the necessity is to welcome all who input its doorways, but in addition to proclaim and cling faithfully to the gospel message. moment, as Christians have interaction with their host tradition, they should take the gospel message to the area with no being infected through it. Neither of those demanding situations is new. yet them in the course of the body of unfastened expression is, as are the insights watching for the considerate reader.

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Extra resources for Christians, Free Expression, and the Common Good: Getting Beyond the Censorship Impulse

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Admittedly, there are more immediate and graver issues facing Western society than whether it is acceptable for Christians to spend $10 a week on lottery tickets. Yet this example shows that even over a relatively short time Christians relocate, or dismantle, fences that were once vigorously protected. Always, God expects us to be vigilant regarding those fences that he would have us maintain. By the same token, he surely would not have us devoting A Theology of Freedom and Free Expression 37 our energies to erecting other fences (like the BJU example) that he sees as irrelevant or, worse still, barriers to those whom he would draw into our midst.

69 Even though Christians are reconciled to Christ, we remain flawed individuals who continue to sin. Whether because of our sinful dispositions or ignorance, we need constantly to be monitoring our beliefs and conduct to ensure they honor God. The church provides an indispensable venue where that can occur, and help us to hold each other accountable to God’s standards. While caution is appropriate, not every new idea that comes our way is to be resisted. Similarly, nor are we to accept everything unthinkingly.

Stephen L. Carter, Integrity (New York: Basic Books: 1996), 218–219. 44. Waldo Beach, “Freedom and Authority in Protestant Ethics,” in Faith and Freedom: Essays in Contemporary Theology, ed. Charles B. Ketcham and James F. Day (New York: Weybright and Talley, 1969), 42–43. 45. Quoted in Beach, “Freedom and Authority,” 43. 46. Weigel, “Theology and Freedom,” 35. 47. , 37. 48. Küng, “Freedom, Intellectual,” 943. 49. Robert Rakauskas, “Censorship,” In Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science and Social Policy, vol.

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