Christians, Free Expression, And The Common Good: Getting Beyond The Censorship Impulse
by Gordon S Jackson /
2015 / English / PDF
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This book argues that in Western democracies, Christians of all theological and political backgrounds ought to be ardent advocates of advancing, not curbing, freedom of speech. They ought to do so both within their own ranks and in the increasingly secular societies in which they live. This study presents the concept of free expression, and its opposite of censorship, as a tool for the Western church (and the US church in particular) to respond more wisely and effectively to controversy. In their most severe form, these controversies lead to both formal and informal limitations on free expression, as Christians seek to silence those with whom they most stridently disagree. This study is timely given the Western churchcurrent state of flux as it tries to determine its identity and mission in a post-Christian setting. The book will appeal to a wide range of thoughtful Christians who would welcome ideas on how the church should refine and live out its mission in the early twenty-first century. The study thus explores the churchperpetual quest for balance on two fronts. First, within the church, there is the need is to welcome all who enter its doors, but also to proclaim and adhere faithfully to the gospel message. Second, as Christians interact with their host culture, they need to take the gospel message to the world without being contaminated by it. Neither of these challenges is new. But looking at them through the frame of free expression is, as are the insights awaiting the thoughtful reader."