Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Uncivil World

Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Uncivil World

Richard J. Mouw / Feb 17, 2020

Uncommon Decency Christian Civility in an Uncivil World Can Christians act like Christians even when they disagree In these wild and diverse times right and left battle over the airwaves prolifers square off against prochoicers gay liberationists confro

  • Title: Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Uncivil World
  • Author: Richard J. Mouw
  • ISBN: 9780830833092
  • Page: 439
  • Format: Paperback
  • Can Christians act like Christians even when they disagree In these wild and diverse times, right and left battle over the airwaves, prolifers square off against prochoicers, gay liberationists confront champions of the traditional family, artists and legislators tangle, even Christians fight other Christians whose doctrines aren t just so Richard Mouw has been activelCan Christians act like Christians even when they disagree In these wild and diverse times, right and left battle over the airwaves, prolifers square off against prochoicers, gay liberationists confront champions of the traditional family, artists and legislators tangle, even Christians fight other Christians whose doctrines aren t just so Richard Mouw has been actively forging a model of Christian civil conversation with those we might disagree with atheists, Muslims, gay activists and He is concerned that, too often, Christians have contributed to the problem than to the solution But he recognizes from his dialogues with those from many perspectives that it s not easy to hold to Christian convictions and treat sometimes vindictive opponents with civility and decency Few if any people in the evangelical world have conversed as widely and sensitively as Mouw So few can write wisely or helpfully than Mouw does here about what Christians can appreciate about pluralism, the theological basis for civility, and how we can communicate with people who disagree with us on the issues that matter most.

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    About "Richard J. Mouw"

      • Richard J. Mouw

        Richard John Mouw is a theologian and philosopher He held the position of President at Fuller Theological Seminary for 20 years 1993 2013 , and continues to hold the post of Professor of Faith and Public Life.


    1. This is a book that I recommend for ALL people of faith, especially Christians. Especially Christians because it is written for us by a leading Christian scholar. For all people of faith because we all so badly need to be reminded of how decency and civility are woven into the callings of our faiths.Richard J. Mouw, President of Fuller Seminary, has taken as his topic the failure of civil society to be, well, civil. Like so many of us, he mourns the way in which political and religious dialogue [...]

    2. Short review: For all of the scriptural injunctions about loving your enemy and 'do to others' Christians can be quite uncivil with people with whom they disagree. Mouw has the best book I have found so far about the how and why of being civil with those whom with disagree. This is not a 'be nice' book. It is a book that encourages strong beliefs, but also a high level of civil dialogue. It is mostly about being civil with non-Christians, but also has some good discussion about how to be civil w [...]

    3. This book was convicted and has softened my black and white mentality to a degree. I recommend it to all Christians passionate for the truth. I hoped for more Scriptural and theological backing for his points. At times Mouw flirts with theological pluralism but to a degree he recognizes a need to stand strong for convictions.

    4. Good concepts for Christians to live by. I struggle with the text but believed Richard Mouw message was on target.

    5. Our society has become much more diverse. Measured in terms of race, the number of non-Hispanic whites has fallen from roughly 84 percent in 1965 to 62 percent in 2015 [1]. Among children under the age of 20, the trend is even more pronounced. Stated in terms of perspectives, we are more likely today to meet someone with a different cultural background and point of view than at any time since the Second World War [2]. Rodney King’s 1992 question: “Can we all get along?” remains a serious q [...]

    6. A very welcome book in this era of arguments, fighting, debates and open hostility. Uncommon Decency is a call to treat others as we would have them treat us. This isn't a book about being a pushover, but about trying to converse with others instead of yelling; a book about listening more and talking less. A much needed book in this day and age.

    7. I generally l like Mouw's work, but I was surprised *how* much I appreciated this one. It could be how timely it feels (or, timeless—Mouw originally wrote the book 20-some years ago and updated it a few years ago). His basic gist is how vital it is to have strong beliefs WHILE also being civil, emphatic, and willing to listen and, in some cases, change or grow.

    8. Fuller Seminary professor and president, Richard Mouw wrote Uncommon Decency about the crisis of civility back in 1992. That bygone year seems like an eternity ago in the post-9/11 era of cable news loudmouths, Red States, Blue States, and economic meltdowns. Almost universally, people now acknowledge that things have actually gotten more divisive not less. Mouw does not suggest that Christians retreat or merely try to get along. Instead, he suggests civil engagement within proper limits. He dra [...]

    9. In Uncommon Decency Richard Mouw argues for increased dialog and understanding between evangelicals and other "polarizing" groups (polarizing to evangelicals). While affirming honest and true distinctions between groups, Mouw insists that dialog and respect represent the proper approach to interaction, rather than the common path of attack and vindictive behavior. Civility, in fact, is the model that Christ gave and therefore should be imitated by His followers. This civility will be compelling [...]

    10. This is the most inspirational and important book I have read in a while. Its guidance can help to navigate between the complexities and ambiguities of living in both in The City of God and the City of Man. The author writes with clarity, simplicity and true wisdom. I think this book is a necessary read for all Christians (whether evangelical or Roman Catholic) who realise that Christ is returning for ONE bride pure and spotless, not a harem. I am like the Christian from the Yeats poem who is fu [...]

    11. “We were created for kind and gentle living,” writes Richard Mouw. But, he continues, “It is not enough merely to reclaim civility. We need to cultivate a civility that does not play fast and loose with the truth.”That’s the core thesis of Mouw’s classic book, Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Uncivil World (IVP). The problem he addresses is this: those who tend to have strong convictions aren’t often very civil, and those who excel in civility often lack a base of strong [...]

    12. This book is just as necessary today as it was when it first appeared on 1992, if not more so. Mouw calls for a greater display of civility by Christians, both inside the Church and outside, and writes in a way that will be accessible to anyone at all interested in the topic. He encourages Christians to respond graciously in difficult circumstances while recognizing that sometimes we must part company with those with whom we disagree. Even parting company can be done graciously in Mouw's view, h [...]

    13. I have not been reading much theology lately, and though this book was written in very simple language, it was still a theology book. As such, it took me a long time to make my way through it. Theology, for me, has always needed to be read in a different way than other literature. It takes longer to digest and think through, and so it should. I very much enjoyed this book. The author is much more conservative than I on the subjects he talked about, but I appreciated very much his willingness to [...]

    14. Mouw lays out an extended case for and description of functional civility in the life of a modern Christian. The exhortation is to a moderation that is so rare in my reading experience that I frequently had to remind myself that he wasn't mincing words. He spends a lot of time making a claim, then explaining the myriad of ways it can be taking so far as to be of no use. This last observation means that it wasn't thrilling reading, but it did have its moments of encouragement and conviction.

    15. A must read for anyone who professes a belief in Christ. Mouw, retired president of Fuller Theological Seminary and a practicing Calvinist Presbyterian, shares his thoughts on how to talk to one another about the real life questions that are so personal and subjective -- and yet remain civil with one another AND true to our own beliefs. He calls it "convicted civility."This man has opened up my eyes in so many ways and has quite simply "rocked" my world!

    16. Although Mouw writes in an easy to read format, I found myself thinking that he is extremely intelligent and challenging. I believe this is a book that anyone should read especially anyone who finds him/herself in some sort of confrontation whether it is work, politics, family, or life in general. We followed up the reading of this book with a discussion at Church and we know that many of us don't share all the same beliefs.

    17. Mouw presents a great number of reflections and thoughts on the concept of civility that all Christians would benefit from reading. In a world and culture with as many different opinions, worldviews, and beliefs as there are people, how do Christians maintain their convictions about sex, politics, and other religions without running over others with our words? That's what Mouw addresses. There were certainly a number of times I had to stop and repent during this book.

    18. One thought that passed through my mind when reading Mouw's book is that in our fragmented and pluralistic society, it would probably benefit us greatly if we wrote fewer books hedging in our positions and more on how to dialogue civily and compassionately (perhaps even Christianly?). Helpful, accesible read. Kindness and conviction.

    19. Wish more of my "Conservative Evangelical" friends would read this. Mouw have many great points. I especially liked chapter 11 which dealt with the reality of Hell and our real limits of knowing just what it is. I started reading this just before the 2012 Presidential Election, and while it is not just about politics it does touch upon the subject.

    20. A brilliant treatise reminding Christians that we can be fully loving and fully faithful only when we recognize all human beings as equally valued by God. Civility does not require a shift in the truth, but rather a deep respect for the humanity of those around us. Christians and non-Christians alike.

    21. Read this for spiritual reading on a retreat. Many good and thought-provoking insights. As a Christian, we often use our faith as justification for lack of civility or expressions of self-righteousness, even to the point of demeaning others. This is directly contradicting the message and spirit of Christ. "Love your enemies" has some very practical applications.

    22. The current cultural climate provides the perfect backdrop for reading this book. Although I don't entirely agree with the specifics of Mouw's views, I greatly appreciate the principles he outlines, as well as his willingness to tackle such a complicated topic. This is a book I predict I'll be coming back to many times in the years to come.

    23. Not only was it bad because I was forced to read it, but he danced around the line and never actually got his point across which is very infuriating. I spotted multiple typos too, which was very frustrating.

    24. There is plenty about this book that I vehemently disagree with, however I think it is well-written and grounded in hope that people of convictions might find ways to communicate with more than civility. And it's good for my liberal self to be stretched by a conservative evangelical, on occasion!

    25. A very important book for our time. It's a fairly slow read, but an easy one. Christians need to hear its message.

    26. Read this book. It is a must given the volatility of the public square. Let us be thoughtful in how we engage others.

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