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Unto Others: Rediscovering the Golden Rule - The Lost Key to Relationships (Swavely)

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We have forgotten the number one lesson Jesus taught us about daily life. And we all suffer as a result.

…We need to rediscover the Golden Rule.

The Golden Rule—a central teaching from the Sermon on the Mount—is surely one of the most important things Jesus ever said. Yet it has largely disappeared from the public consciousness. And those who do remember it often misunderstand or misapply it.

In Unto Others, Dave Swavely explains why the meaning of the Golden Rule needs to be recovered today, and how it can be a great key to success in our personal and collective relationships—when practiced the right way.

Remember “WWJD”? The Prayer of Jabez? Christians have always appreciated the benefit of concise maxims to help remember and apply important principles and promises from God’s Word. Sayings like that have proven helpful at times and been problematic at others, but the Golden Rule is different. It is a divinely inspired, always correct way of remembering and applying “all the law and prophets,” because that’s what it represents and summarizes, according to Jesus (Matthew 7:12).

Despite the prominence given to the Golden Rule by Christ, and the fact that almost all Christians used to memorize and quote it frequently, this is the only modern book on the subject written from a pastoral and theological perspective. In Unto Others, Dave Swavely unravels the mystery of why this lost treasure has been neglected for so long, makes a clear case for its return to prominence in our thinking and actions, and walks us through a set of very practical steps for using it in our everyday lives.

This book will also be helpful to those interested in comparative religions and the uniqueness of Christianity, since forms of the Golden Rule existed prior to Christ, yet he pioneered a distinct version and approach to it. And those concerned with mercy ministry, social justice, and political theory will also welcome the many insights Swavely provides into the use of the Golden Rule in recent American history.


Dave Swavely (M. Div., The Master’s Seminary) served for seven years as an assistant to Dr. John MacArthur and as a pastoral staff member at Grace Community Church in Los Angeles. Since then he has planted and pastored two churches and is currently working on a third plant, while also serving as the Advancement Officer for the international missions organization PAK7.

He co-authored Life in the Father’s House: A Member’s Guide to the Local Church (with Wayne Mack) and From Embers to a Flame: How God Can Revitalize Your Church (with Harry Reeder), and is the sole author of two titles that were published by P&R. He has worked as a journalist for World magazine and has three novels published by Macmillan. His website is and he blogs at

Dave and his wife, Jill, have been married for more than thirty years, with seven kids and three grandkids. Together they’ve started several innovative educational programs and housed many people in need. Dave’s life journey has included many failures as well as successes, and he’s learned the most from his failures.


“Recent biblical law studies demonstrate that the essence and purpose of the law was to display the perfect character of God in values. Rather than look for current applications to specific OT laws, we as 21st century Christians should understand and amplify the values behind the law in every aspect of our lives. Dave Swavely’s study reduces these values to one, because Jesus did.” —Dave Deuel, ThM, MPhil, PhD, Academic Dean Emeritus, The Master’s Academy International and Senior Research Fellow and Policy Advisor, the International Disability Center at Joni and Friends

“In this book Dave Swavely has explained, illustrated, and applied the truths found in a statement made by Jesus Christ as part of the greatest sermon ever preached, commonly called The Sermon on the Mount. Dave has corrected the misunderstanding and misapplication of the statement called The Golden Rule. He has clearly demonstrated its relevance and applicability to living in our present-day world.” —Wayne Mack, DMin, author of A Practical Guide for Effective Biblical Counseling and Discipleship and the Christian Life Issues series based on The Pilgrim’s Progress

“You have likely heard the expression, “It goes without saying…” I had put the Golden Rule from Christ’s Sermon on the Mount in that category. I assumed everyone knew it and understood it. Dave Swavely’s book, Unto Others, made me realize how naive I was. In this clear and concise exposition, Dave clarifies what the Golden Rule is and what it is not, and how it reflects God’s wisdom for healthy relationships. This book is sorely needed for the divisive, dysfunctional times in which we live.—Stan Gale, DMin, author of Finding Forgiveness: Discovering the Healing Power of the Gospel and The Vine-Ripened Life: Spiritual Fruitfulness Through Abiding in Christ