Ethics in a Permissive Society Author:William Barclay The flyleaf reads: — "ETHICS IN A PERMISSIVE SOCIETY — by William Barclay — Ours is a permissive society. Laws are being eased to allow its members greater individual license to regulate their own ethical behavior in regard to such issues as abortion, contraception, indulgence in alcohol and drugs, sexual activity in and out of marriage. Where in... more » the midst of all this self-determination, is there a place for the Christian ethic?
Professor William Barclay asked just this question when he delivered the highly respected Baird Lectures, which were broadcast for the first time over BBC television. ETHICS IN A PERMISSIVE SOCIETY brings together these lectures and supplements them with entirely new material to present his analysis of the situation in greater depth.
In a society where all kinds of morality operate on equal footing with one another, where people are often ignorant of the Church's teaching, how do we as Christians deal with these very complex ethical dilemmas? Professor Barclay approaches a difficult and vexed question with his usual humanity and clarity, asking what Christ himself would say or do in our world today.
He begins with a thoughtful consideration of the ethical teachings of the Old Testament, Jesus, and Paul. With this reminder of our ethical heritage, Professor Barclay reviews the very controversial and widely influential situational ethics in a particularly lucid and intelligent fashion. The Christian views on work and pleasure, and the relationship of the Christian to his money and to his community are then subjected to a careful reevaluation. In a final chapter, Professor Barclay proposes a "person-to-person ethic" whereby privilege is wedded to responsibility in order to sustain an abiding Christian framework for responsible Christian action.
William Barclay is a gifted scholar, preacher, and broadcaster. He was a member of the Advisory Committee for the NEW ENGLISH BIBLE. Since 1963 he has been Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism at Glasgow University."« less