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Racism. Relationships. Idolatry. Church attendance. Violence.
We might assume that these are largely contemporary issues, but theological giants have been grappling with these difficult topics for a long time. One of these giants from the past century, Christian ethics professor T. B. Maston, is remembered for carving out a relational path on these issues based on the authority of Scripture and the life of Christ. In Walk as Jesus Walked, readers will explore Maston’s now-famous ethical framework, a bridge between contemporary Christians and the voices of W. T. Conner, H. Richard Niebuhr, and other theologians still relevant today.
James Hassell demonstrates that pioneering Christian ethicist T. B. Maston has perennial interest and help for congregants and their leadership. Hassell contributes to the still relatively slim attention to one’s theological- ethical heritage with his emphases on W. T. Conner, L. R. Scarborough, and H. Richard Niebuhr, teachers and mentors of Maston. Perhaps Hassell’s major contribution is how each reader can review her/his own informative and formative influences toward character shaping and the projection of that shaping in everyday life.
Former T. B. Maston Professor of Christian Ethics
Logsdon School of Theology, Hardin-Simmons University
Coordinator of the Center for Congregational Ethics
The influence of T. B. Maston is without parallel in both Baptist life and global Christendom. Through his narrative gifts, and drawing from a variety of source material, James Hassell has afforded us a refreshing glimpse into the life of this preeminent Christian ethicist who heralded the necessity of living a life pursuant to the nature and will of the one true God depicted within the sacred text. Even the most casual reader will appreciate and, hopefully, come to benefit from the thoughtful approach that must be given to the merging of life and faith.
—Bobby C. Dagnel
Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church
Scholars will appreciate Dr. Hassell’s depth of research, and pastors will appreciate his “real-life results.” Hassell leads us on a journey as we learn more about T. B. Maston as a premier Baptist ethicist. At the same time, we are challenged to answer the question regarding our own relationships: How does living in the faith community change the way we treat our neighbors? As you read this important work, you will be forced to reconsider your own formulation for making decisions in light of the Christ event.
—Howard K. Batson
Pastor, First Baptist Church of Amarillo
James Hassell’s Walk as Jesus Walked revives the influence of Baptist ethicist T. B. Maston and inspires readers to embody a “both-and” framework for Christian ethics. Through tracing Maston’s thought and development, Hassell encourages readers to remember that, just as in Jesus’ teaching in the parable of the Good Samaritan, we should focus more on “How can I be a good neighbor?” rather than “Who is my neighbor?”
While other younger pastors are looking for the newest trend in church practice or theology, Hassell’s focus on Maston’s heritage of life lived in the way of Jesus is refreshing. I would commend it to all who are looking for a better understanding of how to escape the present-day tyranny of “either-or.”
—Meredith J. Stone
Instructor of Christian Ministry & Scripture