Thus far in the Brookside Institute class, "Walking Wisely: An Introduction to Christian Ethics," we've spent a lot of time (4 out of 10 sessions!) laying foundations for the rest of the class - for the upcoming sessions when we get into thinking ethically about technology, the sanctity of life, God's design for marriage and sexuality, and more.
What are the areas that we need to factor in, if we want to lay strong foundations in this field (and practice) of Christian Ethics? Why are these so important? I'm glad you asked! Let's look at both of these questions together.
What Foundations Should be Considered when STudying Christian EThics?
As part of these foundations, we've talked about healthy ingredients that should be baked into our approach to Christian ethics - healthy ingredients that look a lot like relying on biblical truth, practicing Christian virtues, and modeling a respectful tone.
We've also done a broad survey of the Old and New Testaments, where we learn that God cares how we live. We learn that God Himself is a good God who has given us good commands so we can live the full life He wants for us. And ultimately, God doesn't only care that we obey but also how we obey and why we do so. As followers of Jesus, our ideal is to obey God with glad obedience, motivated by the gospel of Jesus Christ.
This sort of glad, gospel-motivated obedience always takes shape in a particular time and place. As we study (and live!) Christian ethics, we would do well to think wisely about culture as well.
Why is Laying these Foundations so Important?
Why are these sorts of foundations important enough to devote 40% of the "Walking Wisely" class to? Because we all know that in 20 years, or 200 years, some (many?) of the ethical issues our kids, grandkids, and great-, great, -great grandkids face will be much different than the ethical issues we're facing right now, in 2015.
Strong foundations in an understanding of Christian Ethics help lay a framework that can be applied to any ethical issue, and keep us "walking wisely" and living "desirably distinct" lives in whatever time and place we find ourselves.
Interested in MOre?
Don't forget that I recently highlighted eight worthwhile books that can serve as resources for understanding Christian ethics, and living in a way that honors Jesus. Check 'em out if you've not already, and consider digging into one or two of them!
What would you add? Would you suggest any other components of WHAT ethical foundations should include, or any additional reasons for WHY foundations are important to an understanding and practice of Christian ethics?
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