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THEO 303 (Sp '16) T02 - Christian Ethics
Transcript of THEO 303 (Sp '16) T02 - Christian Ethics
Adopted from http://www.brown.edu/academics/science-and-technology-studies/framework-making-ethical-decisions. Accessed May 9, 2015.
What is Christian Ethics?
Christian ethics deals with “oughtness”
- what ought a Christian “do” (conduct)
- what ought a Christian “be” (character)
If many norms supposedly have universal application, what should one do if several conflict in a given situation?
An Ethical Challenge for God's People
Gen 17:1, "When Abram was ninety-nine years old
the LORD appeared to Abram and said to
him, 'I am God Almighty; walk before me,
and be blameless.' "
1. As Christ-followers, we live out our days in the
presence of God
2. As Christ followers, we are a community under
3. As Christ followers, we are also a community in
The Relevance of the OT Law for People of the NT Era
Law as the expressed will of God that people be
like him morally (Lev. 19:2)
Law as the Mosaic legal system (John 1:17)
Find out how Antinomianism, Generalism, Situation Ethics, Non-Conflicting Absolutism, Ideal Absolutism and Hierarchicalism "solve" conflicting norms? (search in the textbook, Internet or library)
Law as obedience to the law (Gal. 2:21)
Law as the OT (Matt. 5:18)
Law as specific laws (John 19:7)
The law as an operating principle (Rom. 7:23)
The ultimate standard for the Christian is not merely a code of ethics or system of doctrine or a subjective feel for what is right.
The standard for the Christian is God himself.
Matt. 5:48, "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly
Father is perfect."
- our standard is not relative
If our standard is God himself what is it that we can say about this standard?
- this standard is personal, living and visible
- the standard is universal
1. Principle: One must distinguish between
or commands and
of those commands.
Four Hermeneutical Principles
Concerning the blameless walk, see also Grenz, Stanley J.,
The Moral Quest
(IVP, 1997), 99 and Sidney Greidanus,
Preaching Christ from Genesis: Foundations for Expository Sermons
, (Google Books), 169.
Robertson McQuilkin, Biblical Ethics (Tyndale, 1995), 31ff.
Adapted from Feinberg, John S. and Paul D. Feinberg,
Ethics for a Brave New World
(Crossway Books, 1993), 32ff (The Use of Scripture in Ethics).
2. Principle: One must interpret the OT or NT
command in light of its own social,
political, and religious
3. Principle: One must discover, if possible, the
for the command. Is the
rationale or principle theological or
4. Principle: One should decide how modern society
relates to OT law
Continuity Position (3 uses of the law)
OT Law and the NT Era
- Please write down 3 words that you consider
important of today's lesson
- Select 1 of the 3 words and do some free
writing (~ 3 minutes)
- In groups of 3-4 share what you have written (~10
minutes); each group should come up with 1-2
questions to ask in class
Moderate Continuity Position (adjust a bit)
Moderate Discontinuity Position (Christ fulfills OT law)
fulfill (Matt 5:17-19) - bring to completion
1) Political use, also called civil law
- controls the ungodliness of men
2) The second use of the law is to drive sinners
3) To guide regenerated believers in living the