Pursuing Moral Faithfulness: Ethics and Christian Discipleship, By Gary Tyra

Pursuing Moral Faithfulness

Ethics and Christian Discipleship

by Gary Tyra

Pursuing Moral Faithfulness
  • Length: 304 pages
  • Published: April 15, 2015
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 2465
  • ISBN: 9780830824656

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Christianity is in a state of moral crisis.

Even though people make moral decisions every day, many Christians lack both the ability to evaluate these decisions and a community of discipleship to help inspire a morally faithful life. Compared to the people around them, there is often no discernible difference in how Christians go about making moral choices.

As a biblical and practical theologian with three decades of pastoral experience, who has also spent years teaching ethics to undergraduates, Gary Tyra approaches the topic with the practical goal of facilitating moral formation and encouraging an "everyday" moral faithfulness. Tyra argues that Christians can have confidence in their Christ-centered, Spirit-enabled ability to discern and do the will of God in any moral situation. Moral faithfulness follows from a life of Christian discipleship.

In an age of moral apathy and theological confusion, Pursuing Moral Faithfulness is a breath of fresh air and a sign of hope for the future.

"Gary Tyra addresses the inescapable question 'What is a good person?' with learning and clarity. This is the rare text that will not only inform but also inspire."

John Ortberg, senior pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, author of Soul Keeping

"In a world awash with moral compromise, Gary Tyra provides an outstanding resource for Christian educators, students and ministry leaders alike, calling for God-honoring decision making in everyday life. By highlighting Micah 6:8, as well as spiritual practices that position followers of Jesus to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, he aligns ethical formation and discipleship, a much-needed reaffirmation. Finally, I have found a book that addresses moral discernment, responsibility and choice that is biblically rich, theologically balanced and overtly practical!"

Diane J. Chandler, Regent University School of Divinity

"A fine, practical, hands-on guide to living a life of moral faithfulness in an increasingly faithless, post-Christian culture."

Paul Copan, Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics at Palm Beach Atlantic University, coauthor of An Introduction to Biblical Ethics

"From his rich experiences as both pastor and professor, Gary Tyra has put his finger on the relatively overall poor condition of Christians' moral discipleship to Jesus, especially due to a pervasive relativism, postmodernism and moralistic therapeutic deism. But he is not just offering here a textbook on moral theories and the identification of what has gone wrong. Nor is he simply trying to develop a decision-making procedure we can methodically apply when facing ethical dilemmas. Much more importantly, he presents a deeply needed corrective to this discipleship deficit. He helps us see the need for balance in our lives between embodying biblical moral principles and virtues, and the need to consider carefully the results of our actions and be responsible for them. Most importantly, he shows us how we can draw upon and listen to the heart of God for guidance in a deeply intimate, personal relationship with him. I highly recommend it."

R. Scott Smith, professor of ethics and Christian apologetics, Biola University

"Books promising to unite moral theory and practice are common, but rarely make good on the pledge. This is different. Gary Tyra offers sage moral guidance that informs, but more importantly, identifies practices that transform. Pursuing Moral Faithfulness is a valuable resource for any Christian who seeks ethical integrity and wholeness."

Steve Wilkens, professor of philosophy, Azusa Pacific University, author of Beyond Bumper Sticker Ethics

"I'm delighted to see Gary Tyra's book Pursuing Moral Faithfulness: Ethics and Christian Discipleship available to students and people in the church, connecting the life of Jesus and the moral life of the follower of Christ. I'm pleased to see the connection between morality and discipleship being made so clearly in this book. It will serve as a valuable resource to both the academy and the church."

Scott B. Rae, professor of Christian ethics, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University

"This is not a book about general ethical theory and practice but about the ethics of discipleship which is ultimately a responsive and responsible relationship with the trinitarian God. Tyra thus shows that Christian ethics and spirituality are two sides of the same coin. Perhaps its most important contribution is to challenge the reader to take seriously the work of the Holy Spirit which makes the pursuit of a distinctively Christian life possible."

Simon Chan, Earnest Lau Professor of Systematic Theology, Trinity Theological College

"With keen attention to impulses shaping the moral sensibilities of today's Christians, Gary Tyra carefully guides readers on a serious journey, enabling them to assess their current ethical decision-making practices before helping them better pursue more faithful conduct and character in our ever-changing society. In doing this, he draws from his seasoned experience of teaching a range of students in the globally-diverse cultural context of Southern California. Pursuing Moral Faithfulness, then, provides a rich and timely resource that will serve numerous generations of believers right down to today's millennials, encouraging us all to be more responsible, Spirit-empowered followers of Christ."

Jason S. Sexton, lecturer, honors department, California State University, Fullerton

"Gary Tyra tackles a demanding task with courage and conviction, namely, to describe how Christians are to think about how to live. Tyra not only takes readers through the maze of ethical systems, but nobly constructs a Christ-centered, biblically-informed and Spirit-led approach to making moral decisions. It is a great primer on the theory and practice of Christian ethics, but more than that, Tyra proves that if Christians are to make a difference then they have to be different!"

Michael F. Bird, lecturer in theology at Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia



Part I: Getting Started: Assessing our Current Moral Faithfulness Quotient
1. Morality Matters: A User-Friendly Introduction to Christian Ethics
2. Some Popular Ethical Options (1): Results-Oriented Approaches
3. Some Popular Ethical Options (2): Rules-Oriented Approaches
4. The Religio-Cultural Soup We?re All In: Assessing its Impact on Our Moral IQ

Part II: Toward a Moral Faithfulness: Integrating Balance and Responsibility into Our Ethical Lives
5. More on a Moral Realism (1): The Moral Guidelines the Scriptures Provide
6. More on a Moral Realism (2): The Moral Guidance the Scriptures Promise
7. So, What Would Jesus Do?
8. Responsible and Responsive Decision Making: A Closer Look at ?Drawing in the Dirt?
9. The Ethic of Responsible Christian Discipleship: Reasons for Its Embrace
10. Actually Becoming an Ethically Responsible Christian Disciple: The Process Involved

Author Index
Subject Index
Scripture Index


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Gary Tyra

Gary Tyra (DMin, Fuller Theological Seminary) is professor of biblical and practical theology at Vanguard University of Southern California. Formerly the chair for the department of religion at Vanguard, Tyra also has over twenty-five years of pastoral experience including his last position as senior pastor at Yorba Linda Community Church in Yorba Linda, California. Tyra is the author of The Holy Spirit in Mission, Christ's Empowering Presence, A Missional Orthodoxy, Beyond the Bliss, and Defeating Pharisaism, as well as numerous published papers and articles. He and his wife Patti have two grown children and reside in California.