Christian Ethics Introduction Well, its been on my shelf for almost a year, and I finally got to it. Options and Issues by Norman Geisler is quite a read. Like Giesler's other books that I've read, this one is divided and outlined very clearly.
Christian Ethics Introduction Well, its been on my shelf for almost a year, and I finally got to it. Options and Issues by Norman Geisler is quite a read.
It is easy to follow, but has lots of stimulating content.
It is broken into two different parts with pages. Part 1 Chapter 1: All the Options In Chapter 1 Geisler introduces the philosophical topic of ethics.
He then examines five unique attributes of Christian ethics and concludes by providing examples using lying of the different views of ethics. He provides a history of the antinomian view; he covers the time from the ancient beginnings to contemporary influences. In the process he looks at twelve different ethical philosophies that fall under the broad umbrella of antinomianism.
He points out what they have in common and provides what he believes are the good influences of antinomianism, including the fact that it stresses individual responsibility. He then offers a critique of each individual system, then provides the issues with antinomianism in general- the major ones would be that it is self-defeating, and it is too subjective to be of value to the whole of humanity.
Geisler begins this examination by explaining that the purpose of this ethical model was to avoid the pitfalls of legalism and antinomianism.
He describes the "single-norm" ethic that is put forth by Fletcher. Basically the ethical thing to do in any situation is determined by the single absolute norm: Geisler states that Situationism does have its advantages over legalism it is sensitive to circumstances, it stresses love over other possible norms, and others and antinomianism it does have an absolute and is a normative position.
However, he does point out that the "love" does not really have a foundation- it is determined by the situation.
The fact that the "absolute" is actually relative makes it a form of the antinomian view. He also points out that the end result of a decision is that the most love be accomplished- a form of utilitarianism the subject of Chapter 4.
Generalism In Chapter 4 Geisler discusses what is more commonly called utilitarianism. The general idea of this ethical model is that any behavior may be justified if it will achieve the most good for the most people.
Popularly, it is summed up as "the ends justify the means". Geisler points out that there are a few different positions within this view that distinguishes what "good" means if it is based on quality or quantity and how exceptions are handled. He mentions that in general utilitarianism does affirm the need for a norm or standard and provides a way to deal with conflicting norms.
However, he does state that its weakness falls in the need for "good" to have an objective standard a norm of its own and the fact that the "end" is ambiguous due to lack of omniscience of humans.
The responsibility to determine both of these then falls back on the individual making the decision. The individual would then need to appeal to another ethical system of his choice, which ultimately defeats the need for this one and leads back to the first system described:The subject of ethics from a Christian perspective is very important indeed.
It often can be wrongly presented, so it is appropriate that someone like Wayne Grudem tackles this topic. The veteran American theologian is well qualified to take on such a task, and he offers us a tremendous resource with his new book.
The aim of Biggar’s Behaving in Public is therefore to steer a middle course between these two one-sided options and to find a way of doing Christian ethics with biblical and theological seriousness while also engaging in public debate.
Each section of the book introduces historical relationships of injustice and power as the context in which Christian ethics must help us decide how to engage the challenges of liberation, justice making, and relationship building.
The aim of Biggar’s Behaving in Public is therefore to steer a middle course between these two one-sided options and to find a way of doing Christian ethics with biblical and theological seriousness while also engaging in public debate. I frequently get asked to recommend books that introduce readers to the subject of Christian ethics.
Actually, I get asked often enough that it’s time to write out a list of books that I can point people to quickly. Read "Book Review: Choosing the Good: Christian Ethics in a Complex World, Studies in Christian Ethics" on DeepDyve, the largest online rental service for scholarly research with thousands of academic publications available at your fingertips.