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Author Gordon King

When Jesus Faces Legion: Making Sense of Today’s Evil

New Testament scholar John P. Meier wrote of the enormous distance between the social world of Jesus and modern Western societies in their views of unclean spirits and exorcism. People of the first-century Mediterranean world, Jews and Gentiles, were apprehensive about hostile attacks of demons resulting in accidents, illness or bizarre behavior patterns. Certain individuals […] Read More

Reflecting on Modern-Day Violence Through Biblical Story

We will observe the 24th anniversary of the Rwanda Tutsi genocide in April. Romeo Dallaire, commander of the United Nations forces in Rwanda, wrote a book titled “Shake Hands with the Devil.” The devil, for Dallaire, was embodied in the person of Gen. Theoneste Bagosora, one of the principal authors of the murder of an […] Read More

8 Dimensions of Health to Achieve a Life of Well-Being

Bible study or home group meetings are part of the life of many churches between Sundays. In preparation for a shared time of prayer, group members often talk about health concerns of individuals and lift these people up to God for his grace and healing. Three observations may be made: 1. Health issues are a […] Read More

Why Some 15M People Have No Nation to Call Home

Stateless people are deprived of a nationality. They have been described as living ghosts who inhabit the world. The Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion (ISI) estimates that 15 million people in the world are stateless. The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) provides a more conservative estimate of 10 million accompanied by an admission of gaps […] Read More

So When Did You Last Hear a Sermon on Racism?

Racism and prophetic protests against racism are part of the biblical message. I wonder why we hear so few sermons in our churches about this moral issue. Perhaps Glen Stassen and David Gushee (“Kingdom Ethics: Following Jesus in Contemporary Context”) are correct that the dominant white culture (to which I belong) has taken a social […] Read More

Vaclav Havel – The Moral Nature of Political Leadership

Vaclav Havel (1936-2011) was a playwright, essayist and dissident under the communist regime of Czechoslovakia. He spent several years in prison. His movement, the Civic Forum, played an important role in the Velvet Revolution that brought communist rule to an end in his country. Havel served as president of Czechoslovakia from 1989 until 1992 (when […] Read More

Doing the Right Thing: Deontological Ethics – Part 2

Duty or obligation as the foundation for moral decision-making is the basis for deontological ethics. This approach, which focused on the morality of actions and motives apart from results, was popularized by Immanuel Kant and continues to have significant influence today. I’ll offer five observations about the duty approach to ethics and then conclude by […] Read More

Doing the Right Thing: Deontological Ethics – Part 1

Duty or obligation as the foundation for moral decision-making is the basis for deontological ethics. The term derives from the Greek noun “deon,” which can be translated as duty or obligation. Students of New Testament Greek will be familiar with the Greek verb “dei,” which signifies a moral necessity or obligation. An example is found […] Read More

Understanding the Value of Utilitarian Ethics – Part 2

The utilitarian approach to ethics is important for its commitment to equality. There are no special interest people or groups. The happiness of each person is measured in an equivalent manner. This characteristic appears commendable in giving voice to the voiceless and addressing the disproportional influence of wealthy individuals and corporations. The commendable principle of […] Read More

Understanding the Principles of Utilitarian Ethics – Part 1

What action will result in the greatest happiness for the largest number of people? This is the critical question utilitarian ethics uses to address moral dilemmas. Based on this defining question, we can make several initial observations: 1. Attention is focused on the result or impact of an action. 2. Considerations of personal benefit (ethics […] Read More