Friday, December 6, 2013

A Brief Introduction

There is no more important subject for Christians than ethics. Although short, this book gives a good overview for both students and lay people interested in the subject.

The opening chapter treats moral relativism. For me, this is one of the most important chapters in the book. Although the manifestation of a morality can vary from culture to culture, the underlying premise doesn't. I like the author's example: giving the finger to someone in our culture may not seem the same as showing the bottom of your foot, but in their respective cultures they both indicate a lack of respect for the individual.

The book surveys the important cultural sources of ethics, predominantly the old testament and the ten commandments, and Christ's teachings in the new testament, particularly the sermon on the mount. The book also touches on enlightenment ethics, focusing on Kant, and ends with a brief summary of Evangelical ethics, focusing primarily on authors alive today. It ends with a useful chapter on how the Bible can and should be used in moral decision making.

I highly recommend this book if you're interested in ethics. It's easy to read and offers much food for thought about ethical and moral issues and the historical background. While billed as a student guide, I think anyone interested in ethics would find the book well worth reading.

I reviewed this book for Crossway Publishing.