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Tough Issues, True Hope: A concise journey through Christian ethics

By Luke H. Davis.
May 2021 | Review by James Hindson
  • Publisher: Christian Focus Publications
  • ISBN: 978-1-52710-520-1
  • Pages: 240
  • Price: £13.99
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Book Review

Luke H. Davis teaches ethics at a Christian high school in the American Midwest, and has written an easy-to-read, conversational book covering the major areas of Christian ethics.

It is aimed at high school students and young people, both Christians and non-Christians, and covers topics related to three broad headings: ‘Life’ (including abortion, euthanasia, suicide, and disability), ‘Relationships’ (including gender, divorce, homosexuality, and transgender issues), and ‘Stewardship’ (including work, environmental and social stewardship).

Covering such a wide range of topics, some chapters are bound to be better than others. For those who are not Christians, the sections on Life and Relationships give a good introduction to Christian thinking on the issues covered and introduce biblical principles in a gentle and non-threatening way. The author manages some tricky issues with clarity, understanding, and compassion, sometimes from personal experience.

This would be a useful starter for a younger Christian. Those more mature in the faith, and especially those who think critically, will be left wanting more depth, so perhaps a short bibliography would have been useful.

There are some gripes: some of the illustrations that start each chapter are odd and don’t really help introduce the topics – at least for me; and the section on Stewardship was weak and not at all challenging enough. I also felt that Part One, which considers how ethical issues are communicated, would have come better at the end of the book.

Many of the issues discussed are those to which a significant proportion of Christians have not given a huge amount of thought; or if they have, they think they already know what the Bible says. So this is a good starting point, with some helpful questions at the end of each chapter for those wishing to start exploring Christian ethics. But it is only a starting point.

James Hindson

Shrewsbury