The Matrix of Christian Ethics: Integrating Philosophy and Moral Theology in a Postmodern Context, By Patrick Nullens and Ronald T. Michener
The Matrix of Christian Ethics
  • Length: 266 pages
  • Published: August 10, 2010
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 5701
  • ISBN: 9780830857012

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In today's world, many Christians don't know how to live ethically, let alone know what ethics is. Christian ethics probes our deepest sensibilities as humans and how we seek the good for others as well as for ourselves as followers of Christ. This book begins to delve into this relevant and contemporary subject through methodological reflection on the commands, purposes, values, and virtues of Christian life in today's context.

To address these factors, an integrative approach to ethics is proposed, borrowing from classical ethical models such as consequential ethics, principle ethics, virtue ethics, and value ethics. This is what the authors call a matrix of Christian ethics. This matrix will be played out in a variety of ways throughout the book, from the discussion of the postmodern situation of ethics and values to current proposals for the ongoing development of Christian ethics today. It concludes with some practically oriented guidelines to help the reader consider contemporary ethical questions and conflicts within a framework of biblical wisdom, in view of the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of followers of Christ.

"This is one of the few introductions in Christian ethical thinking that offers both moral philosophy and theological ethics. The Matrix of Christain Ethics is written with evangelical passion, intellectual honest, and a sensitive awareness of the moral perplexities of our postmodern, global era in a clear and attractive style that surely will seduce our students!"

Frits de Lange, Protestant Theological University, Kampen, The Netherlands

"Eminently readable and theologically nuanced. The Matrix of Christain Ethics severs as an excellent primer in Christian ethics. The evangelical approach of Nullens and Michener does justice to the often complex situations that we face by advocating an integrative approach that takes the best from each of the main ethical models. The result is a charitable and insightful book that takes seriously the values, norms, virtues, and purposes at stake in the Christain life."

Hans Boersma, Regent College

"The Matrix of Christain Ethics provides a comprehensive, readable, and up-to-date overview of Christain ethical thought. . . . An ideal textbook for the classroom."

Dennis P. Hollinger, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary


Preface 1
Chapter 1. Introduction 5
Chapter 2. Moral Argumentation 47
Chapter 3. Consequential Ethics 69
Chapter 4. Principle Ethics 93
Chapter 5. Character Ethics and the Virtues 117
Chapter 6. Value Ethics and Personalism 131
Chapter 7. The Triune God and the Good 149
Chapter 8. The Ethical Human Being 173
Chapter 9. The Use of the Bible in Christian Ethic s 189
Chapter 10. A Variegated Biblical Ethics 203
Chapter 11. Facing Moral Problem s 225
Bibliography 245
Subject Index 253
Scripture Index 263


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Patrick Nullens (PhD) is president and professor of systematic theology and Christian ethics at the Evangelische Theologische Faculteit, Leuven, Belgium. Nullens also leads the Institute of Ethics and Leadership, a research institute under the umbrella of the Evangelische Theologische Faculteit.

Ronald T. Michener (Dr. theol.) is associate professor of systematic theology and chair of the Department of Systematic Theology at the Evangelische Theologische Faculteit, Leuven. He is the author of Engaging Deconstructive Theology.