This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book deals with Christian attitudes to law and judgment, and secular understandings of these same functions, to recognize some common ground and elicit motivation. Many Christians, like their social counterparts, have concerns over personal safety and the protection of their rights and possessions. The book addresses the valence of those concerns and their relation to spiritual commitments, specifically gospel commitments such as detachment and simplicity, nonviolence, and the abnegation of rights in deference to the needs of others. Specific Christians and their denominational spokespersons are informed and shaped by cultural assumptions regarding law and punishment just as they, in turn, impact the cultures in which they live. Christian ethics, understood properly, is not a set of laws but a way of shaping ones vision to see the other as a part of oneself, and both as a part of the divine.