What should we do or not do? What attitudes, behavior and qualities are good? Can we be good without God? What is the highest good, the purpose of human existence? These are the questions the study of ethics seeks to answer.
Unlike many approaches to ethics, this book foundationally turns to Scripture, going only as far as Scripture itself goes. The result is an overview of biblical ethics that not only addresses the life of love and wisdom to be lived out by Christians as virtuous individuals, but also as Christians in community, in society and in a world of God?s creation.
Key preliminary considerations of love, law, sin and virtue are given their due in this thoroughly revised and updated text. The bulk of the work is then organized around the Ten Commandments and ethical themes springing from them—loving God (commandments 1-4) and loving others (commandments 6-10).
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McQuilkin and Copan stay focused on how we are fulfilling the purposes of God for our lives—a will that is for our good and our well-being. This comprehensive study is the place to begin on the journey of living wisely, faithfully and obediently.
"Ethics without the Bible is a matter of cultural mores. The Bible without ethics is a textual relic without life or relevance. This superb introduction to biblical ethics brings the two together through the wisdom of two noted evangelical thinkers and leaders. This book does not duck the tough issues but presents them in the light of God's unfailing revelation in Jesus Christ and the revelation of God in Holy Scripture. Highly recommended!"
"An Introduction to Biblical Ethics combines the winsome wisdom of Robertson McQuilkin, one of the sage professors of Christian ethics, with the penetrating rigor of Paul Copan, one of the premier thinkers of today. What could be better than this?"
"A first-rate discussion of ethics from a Christian worldview. I'm very glad to see Robertson McQuilkin's work be updated by such a capable scholar as Paul Copan."
"Although as a Catholic I part ways with the authors on a couple of issues—such as birth control and the use of images—this is an amazingly careful piece of work. Robertson McQuilkin and Paul Copan offer to their readers a clear and compelling account of an evangelical Protestant understanding of biblical ethics, one from which those outside this tradition can learn much. What makes this book historically interesting is that it is a third edition of a classic originally authored by McQuilkin, a legendary figure in American evangelicalism and a pioneer in the field of contemporary biblical ethics. But now it has been revised and authored in collaboration with one of the most prolific Christian philosophers alive today, Copan. As one would expect, this rare combination of talents makes for an important contribution to the study of ethics."
"Insight and wisdom abound in this volume. Ethical instruction flows in a torrent of theologically informed, biblical exposition. I found myself constantly expecting to critique the book for being much wider than it is deep, but I was routinely surprised by the depth of insight the volume provides. Just as the Mississippi River proves that a river can be both deep and wide, so, too, this text proves that a single volume can display the breadth of biblical ethics with theological depth."
BOOK 1: FOUNDATIONAL CONSIDERATIONS
PART I: LOVE
Chapter 1: Defining Love
Chapter 2: The Objects and Conflicts of Love
PART II: LAW
Chapter 3: The Law: Its Definition and Purpose
Chapter 4: The Law, Christ, Salvation-History, and Obedience
PART III: SIN
Chapter 5: Sin: Its Definition and Its Origin
Chapter 6: Sin: Its Descriptions and Its Results
PART IV: VIRTUES AND VICES
Chapter 7: Becoming a Virtuous Person
Chapter 8: Self-Control and Bodily Appetites, Greed and Contentment
Chapter 9: Pride and Humility; Fear, Faith, Courage, and Hope
PART IV; ETHICAL ALTERNATIVES
Chapter 10: Relativism, Utilitarianism, and the Social Contract
Chapter 11: The Duty-Ethic, Evolutionary Ethics, and God as the Moral Foundation
BOOK 2: APPLYING THE BIBLE TO LIFE
PART VI: GOD FIRST
Chapter 12: No Other Gods or Making and Worshiping Images
Chapter 13: Not Taking God?s Name in Vain and Observing the Holy Rest Day
PART VII: SEX, MARRIAGE, AND THE FAMILY
Chapter 14: Preliminary Considerations on Human Sexuality and the Purposes of Marriage
Chapter 15: Violations of God?s Purposes in Marriage: Mixed Spiritual Unions, Adultery, Polygamy, and Divorce
Chapter 16: Nonmarital Violations of God?s Purposes for Sexuality: Lust, Pornography, and Premarital Sex
Chapter 17: Courtship/Dating and Engagement
Chapter 18: The Question of Homosexuality: Biblical and Scientific Questions
Chapter 19: The Gay Marriage Question and Miscellaneous Sexual Considerations
Chapter 20: The Christian Home
PART VIII: LIFE ISSUES
Chapter 21: Murder, Killing, and Anger; Race and Racism
Chapter 22: Abortion and Infanticide
Chapter 23: Suicide, Euthanasia, and Other Medical Ethical Considerations
Chapter 24: War and Peace
Chapter 25: Crime and Punishment
PART IX: INTEGRITY: PROPERTY AND TRUTH
Chapter 26: Labor and Management, Work and Leisure
Chapter 27: Economic Systems, Poverty, Wealth and Theft
Chapter 28: Truth and Deception
PART X: CHRISTIANS AND SOCIETY
Chapter 29: Church-State Separation
Chapter 30: Alternative Approaches to the Church-State Relationship
Chapter 31: The Roles of Church and Government
Chapter 32: Christian Engagement in Society
PART XI: FALLIBLE CHOICES
Chapter 33: Ethical Questions on Which Christians Differ
Chapter 34: Knowing God?s Will in Matters Not Revealed in Scripture