Recovering the Lost Legacy: Moral Guidance for Today’s Christians from Westbow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson and Zondervan, is now available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. This book, based on Jean Risley’s doctoral research at Andover Newton Theological School explores the role of moral law and how it became confused in the early church.
Inconsistencies between what the law required of Jews and what righteous behavior meant for non-Jews in Jesus’s time led to seemingly contradictory messages about behavior in the early church. This book shows what righteousness meant then and what it means means in the church now.
Risley was challenged by the question, “How do we know which commands in the Old Testament that Christians need to obey?” Since most new Christians in the early church were not Jews, she needed to discover how “righteous Gentiles” were expected to behave in the first century. Her doctoral study with Christian and Jewish scholars and engaging Jewish sacred texts led to the answers in this book.
This book is for pastors, teachers, church leaders, and seminarians who need to give people clear moral guidance grounded in scripture. In our current culture, they are under attack by those who minimize or discredit biblical statements about moral behavior, and they desperately need clear explanations of what the Bible requires to respond in conflicts over moral issues.
Questions for reflection and discussion are included with each chapter, and a discussion leader’s guide is provided so that the book can be used for a group study. Readers are encouraged to engage with scripture for themselves so they become better able to bring biblical wisdom into their own challenging life situations.