Virtue amidst Vice represents an attempt to probe a relatively obscure portion of a relatively obscure New Testament document. 2 Peter reflects a social setting that presents a most daunting pastoral challenge. The danger confronting the Christian community is a lapse in ethical standards and a returban-whether by mere forgetfulness or in wholesale apostasy-to the former way of life. 2 Peter's prophetic and paraenetic response borrows from the moral grammar of contemporary moral philosophers in exhorting the readers to recall-and validate through virtuous living-the faith they have received. The theme of the moral life runs throughout 2 Peter, with the various components of the author's literary arsenal subordinated to this thematic development. It is the function of the catalogue of virtues (1.5-7) both to introduce and to anchor the author's call to repel moral scepticism and reinvigorate the moral life.
About the Author
J. Daryl Charles is Assistant Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Taylor University, Upland, Indiana.