A Handbook of Christian Ethics

A Handbook of Christian Ethics

by John Clark Murray

This Is A New Release Of The Original 1908 Edition.  See more details below


This Is A New Release Of The Original 1908 Edition.

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§ 2. RELATION OF CHRISTIAN ETHICS TO MORAL PHILOSOPHY Christian Ethics, we have just seen, founds on the ideal of Christ. It takes that ideal as a datum, something granted to begin with. On the other hand, a philosophical system of Ethics is not allowed to assume its ideal, hut must discover it by the ordinary methods of philosophical inquiry. But this does not form an absolute differentiation of the two sciences. They cannot, in fact, be separated by any hard and fast line of demarcation, and this for various reasons. 1. In the first place, the ethical ideal of Christianity is not wholly free from the problematic character which attaches to the ethical ideal of all humanity. For it need not be said that we have no authoritative exposition of the Christian ideal in such a form as science demands. The reason of this is not far to seek. The work of Christ was to create the Christian life, not to teach a scientific theory of it. His work differed from that of a scientific teacher as the creative work in nature differs from the natural sciences by which it is explained. All science must be furnished with facts, and its task is to give a rational explanation of these. It is the work of Christ in quickening the moral life of the world that has furnished the facts upon which our science is based. That work, therefore, was designed to stimulate action rather than to formulate thought. It is true that this stimulation came in a large measure from the teaching of Christ, and it is by no means a superfluous task to recall the prominence which is given to this aspect of His life in all the canonical Gospels.1There is, in fact, ground for believing that the primitive memoirs to which St.Luke alludes (Luke i. 1-2), and the existence of which is indicated by St. Paul (Acts xx. 35) as w...

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