There are many things which make this world a fantastic place to live. But maybe you feel that things are somehow not as they should be. Many stories in the daily papers are ‘bad news’: crime and wrong-doing; poor health or drug and alcohol abuse; economic troubles making the rich richer and the poor poorer. Papers aside, you may have seen first-hand examples of bullying or prejudice in your own community.
Can religion provide any answers or insight? Perhaps. Take the Bible, for example. It was written by people, to people. Much of it comprises instructions to new communities. The Old Testament laws helped the people of Israel understand who they were (i.e. people loved and chosen by God) and how they should live as those people. Similarly, the New Testament was written to help early Christians understand what following Jesus looked like. Each group shared a common identity: to be a ‘light’ to other people groups, displaying a community life that was marked by righteousness (i.e. honouring God) and justice (i.e. honouring others).
As such, the Bible addresses social issues head on. What laws are essential for living together harmoniously? What do you do with people who break these laws? What is a good use of money and power? How do you support people with neither? Despite the distance of thousands of years, many Christians look to the Bible to find wisdom for how to deal with social problems today. (For more background information on how Christians interpret the Bible, please look at articles in the ‘Bible’ section of this site.)
This section looks at a range of issues impacting British life today – crime and punishment, wealth and poverty in society, addiction, prejudice and discrimination – and the way Christians view them, based on readings of the Bible and church tradition. You’ll also find articles on Christian attitudes to some of the shapers of our society and values: politics, the media and the internet.Bookmark