Book Reviews

Review of Agape Ethics: Moral Realism and Love for All Life by William Greenway
Book Reviews , Ethics , Featured / December 8, 2017

Greenway, William. Agape Ethics: Moral Realism and Love for All Life. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2016, pp. 147, $21, paperback. William Greenway is Professor of Philosophical Theology at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and author of The Challenge of Evil: Grace and the Problem of Suffering (Westminster John Knox, 2016), For the Love of All Creatures: The Story of Grace in Genesis (Eerdmans, 2015) and A Reasonable Belief: Why God and Faith Make Sense (Westminster John Knox, 2015). Summary: William Greenway’s Agape Ethics: Moral Realism and Love for All Life sets out to convince readers of an internal, primordial, universal morality, based primarily on the thought of philosopher Emmanuel Levinas concerning the concepts of “awakening” and being seized by the faces of others. The book contains an Introduction and 11 chapters organized into four Parts: (1) Awakening and Agape; (2) Science, Scientism, Morality; (3) Beyond Objectivity, Relativism, and Extremism: Moral Realism, Ethical Surety, and the Sanctity of Life; and (4) Perfect Love in an Imperfect World: Agape Ethics. A bibliography is included, but no Index. Greenway’s main concern is inspiring a “spiritual awakening to agape,” longing to “reawaken a lost sense of spiritual belonging in this world, to retrieve a lost…

Review of Contours of the Kuyperian Tradition: A Systematic Introduction by Craig G. Bartholomew

Bartholomew, Craig G. Contours of the Kuyperian Tradition: A Systematic Introduction. Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP Academic, 2017, pp. 363, $40.00, hardback. In the United States, theologically conservative Christianity seems to stand at the edge of a major shift in political theology. The so-called Judeo-Christian consensus for public theology and ethics have eroded. Around the world, the epistemological foundations that have generally been assumed are frequently challenged. Especially in the United States, the culture is rebalancing toward a totalizing view of economics and politics. Since the vast majority of the Christian tradition of writing on cultural engagement occurred in situations of relative dominance of Christian consensus, there are too few examples of effective engagement in a pluralistic context. Among the limited list of positive examples Lesslie Newbigin, Francis Schaeffer, and Abraham Kuyper are near the top. Unfortunately, until recently, only a limited amount of material in the early Kuyperian tradition has been available in English. That is quickly changing, which makes Craig Bartholomew’s recent book, Contours of the Kuyperian Tradition, a timely and valuable volume. Bartholomew sets the table for the book in his introduction, where he outlines the basic Kuyperian program, which entails seeking the welfare of the city. The…