Christian Ethics and Special RevelationQUESTION: Christian Ethics and Special RevelationANSWER:
As Christians, we embrace the concept of moral absolutes and believe we should teach them to our children. But what specific absolutes make up the moral order we profess? What should we do? How should we live?
Absolutes are revealed to us in the Bible. While it is impossible for every situation requiring moral decisions to be addressed in the Bible, sufficient guidelines are provided to give us a sense of what is right in each circumstance. The most obvious moral absolutes, of course, are the Decalogue (the Ten Commandments), which establish the basic moral law for humanity. Much of the Old and New Testaments is dedicated to describing and explaining God’s moral order. For example, the New Testament books of Romans and Galatians contain a number of moral directives for us to follow.Christian Ethics as Revealed in the Bible
The Bible also introduces us to God Incarnate, Jesus Christ, and describes His ministry and teachings so that we might better understand the implications of living a moral life. The apex of Christ’s ethical teaching is found in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7). In addition, Jesus Christ provides the perfect role model for virtuous living. W.E.H. Lecky, who never claimed to be a Christian, admits, “The character of Jesus has not only been the highest pattern of virtue, but the strongest incentive to its practice....”1
In fact, the call to follow Jesus is the simplest summation of Christian ethics, and at the same time, the most difficult thing for us to do. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Christian who died for his faith at the hands of the Nazis during World War II, notes, “On two separate occasions Peter received the call, ‘Follow me.’ It was the first and last word Jesus spoke to his disciple (Mark 1:17, John 21:22).”2
Christ asks but one thing of all Christians: follow Me!Notes:
Rendered with permission from the book,Understanding the Times: The Collision of Today’s Competing Worldviews
ed), David Noebel, Summit Press, 2006. Compliments of John Stonestreet, David Noebel, and the Christian Worldview Ministry
at Summit Ministries
. All rights reserved in the original.1
W.E.H. Lecky, History of European Morals (from Augustus to Charlemagne), 2 vols. (New York, NY: George Braziller, 1955), 2:8–9.2
Norman L. Geisler, Ethics: Alternatives and Issues (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1979), 156.