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Cover for Forbearance


A Theological Ethic for a Disagreeable Church

James Calvin Davis


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Offers a faithful, constructive way to deal with dissent

What happens when we approach disagreement not as a problem to solve but as an opportunity to practice Christian virtue?

In this book James Calvin Davis reclaims the biblical concept of forbearance to develop a theological ethic for faithful disagreement. Pointing to Ephesians and Colossians, in which Paul challenged his readers to "bear with each other" in spite of differences, Davis draws out a theologically grounded practice in which Christians work hard to maintain unity while still taking seriously matters on which they disagree.

The practice of forbearance, Davis argues, offers Christians a dignified, graceful, and constructive way to deal with conflict. Forbearance can also strengthen the church's public witness, offering an antidote to the pervasive divisiveness present in contemporary culture.

William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 9780802875105, 240pp.

Publication Date: August 1, 2017

About the Author

James Calvin Davis is professor of religion at Middlebury College and an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). He is also the author of In Defense of Civility: How Religion Can Unite America on Seven Moral Issues That Divide Us.