Tensions between various ethnic and religious communities arising from conflicting moral values and economic interests are an ever-present threat to the stability of contemporary plural societies. It is impossible for the church to ignore these tensions, simply because its members come from these conflicting communities. The church may be tempted to insulate itself from these tensions, but doing so would render her irrelevant to common society. Instead, the church has a duty to build bridges across communal divides and work towards the common good of society.
This book draws theological insights from the Christian tradition to provide moral discernment and guidance for the church in its engagement with society. The significance of three theological themes are highlighted. First, the Christian understanding of common grace challenges Christians to forge alliances with fellow citizens across communal divides to foster broad-based social renewal movements to preserve the integrity and autonomy of democratic institutions against abusive authorities. Second, the Christian understanding that all humans are created in the image of God envisages a social order which provides equal justice and human rights to all citizens regardless of race or religion. Finally, Christians are able to provide distinctive contributions to social engagement based on an identity that is fundamentally defined by their relationship with Jesus Christ and by their shared membership in God’s covenant community. In particular, the church, as God’s covenant community, is uniquely able to nurture Christians to become morally robust citizens who are committed to building moral consensus and to work for the betterment of common society.
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Christianity And The Social Order