Table Of Contents

The Language Game
The Kingdom:
Healing the Dualism of Personal and Social Ethics
The Context
Finding Our Place in the World

The Biblical Texts on Human Rights
Human Governments
The Poor
Equality and Dignity
Justice and Impartiality
Due Process
The Family
The Environment

A Biblical Theology of Human Rights
General Revelation
Special Revelation
The Theology of the Kingdom of God
Human Dignity in Kingdom Perspective

The History of Human Rights
Levels of Collaboration
Greco-Roman Philosophy and Jurisprudence
The Church Fathers and Canon Law
The Reformation
The Enlightenment
The Glorious (English) Revolution
Key Figures and Formative Ideas
The American Declaration of Independence
The French Revolution
The Loss of Morality
The 19th Century
World War II
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Era of Paralysis
The 1970’s

Human Rights Theologies
The Roman Catholic Church
The Eastern Orthodox Church
The Lutheran Church
The Reformed Churches
The World Council of Churches
Liberation Theology
The Evangelical Church

Human Rights Instruments
Primary Sources and Statements
Non-Governmental Organizations


Appendix 1: Historical Documents
Statements made to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Statement by Moss Nthla
Statement by Derek Morphew

Appendix 2: Fascism and Marxism
German Nationalist Philosophy
Marxism And Revolution



Widely researched and winsomely argued, Morphew’s book provides a reliable and informative sketch of a kingdom theology of human rights. Grounded in his own experience of resisting the dehumanizing and unjust policies of apartheid in South Africa, Morphew argues that the concept of “human rights” is an enormously valuable framework for understanding the proper relationship of Christians worldwide to the cultures that they inhabit. For Morphew, grasping a biblical vision of human rights will equip Christians to enter into public vocations confident, committed, and zealous to see God’s justice established.

Caleb Maskell, Society of Vineyard Scholars, USA
Kathy Maskell, Vineyard Justice Network, USA

Despite an awareness of the centrality of mercy and justice throughout the Old and New Testaments, the evangelical church has not always championed human rights in its theology and practice. It has often had too impoverished an understanding of the kingdom of God and relegated its good news to the domain of personal salvation of souls. This book brings into focus a great deal of knowledge that will encourage followers of Christ not to huddle nervously on the periphery of human rights, but to see such concerns as central to the mission and message of Christ.

Suhail Stephen
Vineyard School of Justice / Winnipeg Centre Vineyard

Derek Morphew’s Kingdom Theology and Human Rights is a breath of fresh air for Christians who deeply care about Jesus’ call to love one’s neighbor in a globalized world. It will no doubt resonate particularly well within Vineyard Movement circles, but it is rightly addressed to all evangelical Christians, who will find here both a sound biblical theology and an incisive historical analysis of the emergence of the human rights paradigm, starting from the Greeks and Romans, passing through the natural law of Thomas Aquinas, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the blossoming of its influence in the 1970s. Morphew is widely read and his scholarship is stellar. This book is a truly accessible primer on how the Church can be leaven, spreading the Kingdom of God within our twenty-first-century world.

David L. Johnston
Visiting Scholar, University of Pennsylvania, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
Author of Earth, Empire and Sacred Text: Muslims and Christians as Trustees of Creation