Freedom for Obedience: Evangelical Ethics in Contemporary Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781579109325
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/1/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 362

Meet the Author

Donald G. Bloesch, Ph.D, is Professor Emeritus at Dubuque Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. He has written such books as Essentials of Evangelical Theology, Is the Bible Sexist?, and The Future of Evangelical Christianity. Dr. Bloesch was educated at the University of Chicago, Oxford University , University of Töbingen, and Basel University , where he studied under Karl Barth.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xiii
Abbreviations xv
Preface xvii
1. Introduction 1
Notes 5
2. Law and Grace in Ethics 6
Beyond Legalism and Relativism 6
Reinterpreting the Ethical Task 8
Theological Mentors 10
The Way of the Cross 12
Notes 13
3. Two Types of Ethics 16
The Radical Character of Christian Ethics 16
Theological and Philosophical Ethics 19
General Orientation in Ethics 23
Criteria in Ethics 26
Motivations in Ethics 30
The Tragic Flaw 34
Goals in Ethics 36
The Ground for Ethical Action 39
Notes 42
4. Principles in Ethics 48
The Contemporary Debate 48
Need for a Prophetic Casuistry 55
Toward an Ethics of the Law and Gospel 61
Principles versus Commandments 64
Notes 66
5. Two Kinds of Righteousness 70
Two Moralities 70
The Basis for Natural Goodness 76
Beyond the Prescriptions of the Law 78
Sin and Virtue 81
Social Justice and Kingdom Righteousness 83
Notes 85
6. Love and Justice 88
The Current Discussion 88
Definitions 89
Ultimate and Penultimate Ideals 91
God's Love and Holiness 97
The Christian Hope 98
Appendix on Reinhold Niebuhr 100
Notes 103
7. Law and Gospel in Historical Perspective 106
Roman Catholicism 106
Luther 108
Calvin 111
Anabaptists and Pietists 113
John Wesley 114
Niebuhr and Bonhoeffer 116
Karl Barth 117
Dispensationalism 121
Notes 123
8. An Ethics of the Law and Gospel 126
A Biblical Alternative 126
Unity of the Law and Gospel 132
Lutheran Ethics 135
The Holiness Corrective 138
Barth's Contribution 140
Two Governments 142
The Whole Counsel of God 144
Appendix on the Order of Law and Gospel 145
Notes 146
9. Christian Caring 150
Its Christological Basis 150
The Church's Twofold Mission 153
Misunderstandings of the Christian Mission 158
Changing Emphases 161
Present-day Temptations 163
Notes 165
10. Alternatives in Ethics Today 168
Situationalism 168
Historical-Relational Ethics 170
Natural Law Ethics 172
Eudaemonism 173
Enlightened Egoism 176
Liberationism 178
Graded Absolutism 181
Christian Realism 183
Theocentric Naturalism 186
Evangelical Contextualism 189
Notes 193
11. Discerning the Will of God 198
The Agony of Ethical Decision 198
Borderline Situations 203
The Risks of Holiness 205
The Ideal versus the Actual 211
Presumption and Humility in Ethical Decision 215
Notes 219
12. God the Civilizer 223
Definitions: Christ and Culture 224
Patterns of Interaction 225
Religion and Culture 228
Conflicting Views on History 229
Creation and Redemption 230
Human Culture and the Kingdom of God 233
The Two Kingdoms 234
God as Civilizer and Reconciler 238
Notes 244
13. The Ideological Temptation 248
The Ideological Spell 248
Faith and Ideology 249
Types of Ideology 252
Ideology and Mythology 259
Ideology and Heresy 262
Toward the Recovery of a Prophetic Church 270
Democracy at the Crossroads 274
Notes 278
14. The Folly of War 287
Philosophical Perspectives on War 287
War in the Bible 289
The Early Church Period 295
Christian Approaches to War 297
The Problem of Total War 304
The Church Under the Cross 307
Appendix on the Warrior God and the God of Peace 314
Notes 315
Selected Bibliography 321
Subject Index 329
Name Index 333
Scripture Index 340
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