Jesus In The Courtroom: How Believers Can Engage The Legal System For The Good Of His World, by John W. Mauck, JD
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Moody Publishers. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
Although I am not a lawyer by education and training, I have long had an interest in the connection between the Bible (and the people of the Bible) and law . When I started reading this book I was a bit concerned that the author would be too politically correct, but much to my pleasure that proved not to be the case. To be sure, this book does not show equal respect for all types of law with regards to Christians and the courtrooms, as there are at least a few comments that suggest that the authors do not take the issue of illegal immigration all that seriously as a societal problem that Christians should be concerned about, but in general the author has a lot to say of great worth concerning both the historical as well as the contemporary role of believers in the courtroom and the work that believers can undertake in order to support Christian life and practice in contentious areas within contemporary American society.
In terms of its contents, this book is a short one at less than 150 pages, but the contents it has are excellent ones. The author begins with a foreword and introduction that give his background as a writer as well as a lawyer. He opens with a discussion of a passage where Jesus pronounced a woe to lawyers as not being a blanket statement of hostility to all lawyers and then talks about how our hearts, and the hearts of society at large, should be turned both to God’s law and to God’s lawyers. At this point the author begins to discuss legal advances that have happened through the help of Jesus, including the passage of laws that remove or reduce zoning problems for churches in light of contemporary difficulties. A chapter about God’s special people that deals with problems concerning the law as it relates to abortion and homosexuality follows and then the author talks about our future as believers in an increasingly anti-Christian world. Three appendices that give notes to pastors and provide resources about Christian legal organizations and other resources closes the book, making this an excellent work on a subject of importance as well as controversy.
There are at least a few areas where this book demonstrates considerable skill. The author references his previous work both as a writer as well as a partner in a noted Christian legal firm, and this book was good enough I am definitely interested in reading more of the author’s writing. In addition, the book demonstrates a keen grasp as well as a solid biblical perspective, for the most part, concerning the impact of law and the legal process on the exercise of Christianity by believers. The author’s stern refusal to countenance a harsh clergy-lay divide encourages ordinary believers to become more active in areas of interest regarding the law and Christianity, and the author’s general stance can be assumed as favorable to God’s laws, despite the fact that the author appears more than a little bit wishy-washy when it comes to the enforcement of immigration law. These flaws aside, the book has much to commend it and the author himself is clearly an expert on the relationship between law and Christianity. The author’s stern and biblical stance on abortion law as well as moral law relating to homosexuality and his praise of unaccredited Bible schools is something that definitely warms the heart of this reviewer as well. For a strongly favorable look at contemporary Christian lawyers, this is definitely a very excellent book.
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