Freedom for Obedience: Evangelical Ethics in Contemporary Times

Freedom for Obedience: Evangelical Ethics in Contemporary Times

by Donald G. Bloesch
     
 

ISBN-10: 1579109322

ISBN-13: 9781579109325

Pub. Date: 04/01/2002

Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers

The Christian ethic...is an ethic that cannot be assimilated into the moral consensus of the wider community.... The way of the cross cannot be reconciled with the way of the world, just as the gospel cannot be conjoined with the laws that gave stability to social order...

The thesis of this book is that human justice can never be a substitute for divine

Overview

The Christian ethic...is an ethic that cannot be assimilated into the moral consensus of the wider community.... The way of the cross cannot be reconciled with the way of the world, just as the gospel cannot be conjoined with the laws that gave stability to social order...

The thesis of this book is that human justice can never be a substitute for divine justification...but it can be a sign and witness to the justifying grace of God in Jesus Christ. Humanitarian works can never reach the heights of deeds of sacrificial love and mercy, but they can point to this higher righteousness and awaken a thirst for it...

We must always be on guard against two perils: the Scylla of legalism and rigorism and Charybdis of antinomianism. An ethics of the divine commandment, by uniting law and grace, the imperative and the indicative, shows how we can live the authentic Christian life in obedience to the highest, which is not a law but a person, not an ideal but the reality of the New Being, the power of crucified love, as we see this in Jesus Christ." - (from Freedom for Obedience)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781579109325
Publisher:
Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date:
04/01/2002
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
362
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x (h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsxiii
Abbreviationsxv
Prefacexvii
1.Introduction1
Notes5
2.Law and Grace in Ethics6
Beyond Legalism and Relativism6
Reinterpreting the Ethical Task8
Theological Mentors10
The Way of the Cross12
Notes13
3.Two Types of Ethics16
The Radical Character of Christian Ethics16
Theological and Philosophical Ethics19
General Orientation in Ethics23
Criteria in Ethics26
Motivations in Ethics30
The Tragic Flaw34
Goals in Ethics36
The Ground for Ethical Action39
Notes42
4.Principles in Ethics48
The Contemporary Debate48
Need for a Prophetic Casuistry55
Toward an Ethics of the Law and Gospel61
Principles versus Commandments64
Notes66
5.Two Kinds of Righteousness70
Two Moralities70
The Basis for Natural Goodness76
Beyond the Prescriptions of the Law78
Sin and Virtue81
Social Justice and Kingdom Righteousness83
Notes85
6.Love and Justice88
The Current Discussion88
Definitions89
Ultimate and Penultimate Ideals91
God's Love and Holiness97
The Christian Hope98
Appendix on Reinhold Niebuhr100
Notes103
7.Law and Gospel in Historical Perspective106
Roman Catholicism106
Luther108
Calvin111
Anabaptists and Pietists113
John Wesley114
Niebuhr and Bonhoeffer116
Karl Barth117
Dispensationalism121
Notes123
8.An Ethics of the Law and Gospel126
A Biblical Alternative126
Unity of the Law and Gospel132
Lutheran Ethics135
The Holiness Corrective138
Barth's Contribution140
Two Governments142
The Whole Counsel of God144
Appendix on the Order of Law and Gospel145
Notes146
9.Christian Caring150
Its Christological Basis150
The Church's Twofold Mission153
Misunderstandings of the Christian Mission158
Changing Emphases161
Present-day Temptations163
Notes165
10.Alternatives in Ethics Today168
Situationalism168
Historical-Relational Ethics170
Natural Law Ethics172
Eudaemonism173
Enlightened Egoism176
Liberationism178
Graded Absolutism181
Christian Realism183
Theocentric Naturalism186
Evangelical Contextualism189
Notes193
11.Discerning the Will of God198
The Agony of Ethical Decision198
Borderline Situations203
The Risks of Holiness205
The Ideal versus the Actual211
Presumption and Humility in Ethical Decision215
Notes219
12.God the Civilizer223
Definitions: Christ and Culture224
Patterns of Interaction225
Religion and Culture228
Conflicting Views on History229
Creation and Redemption230
Human Culture and the Kingdom of God233
The Two Kingdoms234
God as Civilizer and Reconciler238
Notes244
13.The Ideological Temptation248
The Ideological Spell248
Faith and Ideology249
Types of Ideology252
Ideology and Mythology259
Ideology and Heresy262
Toward the Recovery of a Prophetic Church270
Democracy at the Crossroads274
Notes278
14.The Folly of War287
Philosophical Perspectives on War287
War in the Bible289
The Early Church Period295
Christian Approaches to War297
The Problem of Total War304
The Church Under the Cross307
Appendix on the Warrior God and the God of Peace314
Notes315
Selected Bibliography321
Subject Index329
Name Index333
Scripture Index340

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