Biblical Ethics 1: Method

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This is Lesson 1 of the Biblical Ethics course in the Crossroads Programme. Crossroads is a discipleship programme written Dr Kevin Smith (http://kevinsmith.co.za) and offered by the South African Theological Seminary (http://www.satsonline.org).

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Biblical Ethics 1: Method

  1. 1. Biblical Ethics 1 - How We Do Biblical Ethics
  2. 2. Lesson OverviewIn this lesson we are going to study the basis forour approach to biblical ethics under twoheadings: 1. The Law of Love 2. The Law of God
  3. 3. The Law of Love
  4. 4. The Foundational PrincipleThere are two views as to what constitutes thesole standard of behaviour for believers. 1) We can base our ethics on law 2) We can base our ethics on loveWe believe the law of God is an expression ofthe love of God, and thus we live in love bylistening to the law.
  5. 5. Point 1THE LAW
  6. 6. The Law1) Definitions of Law The Bible uses the word ‘law’ in a variety of ways:
  7. 7. The Law1) Definitions of Law The Bible uses the word ‘law’ in a variety of ways: a) the moral will of God
  8. 8. The Law1) Definitions of Law The Bible uses the word ‘law’ in a variety of ways: a) the moral will of God b) the Mosaic law
  9. 9. The Law1) Definitions of Law The Bible uses the word ‘law’ in a variety of ways: a) the moral will of God b) the Mosaic law c) as obedience to God
  10. 10. The Law1) Definitions of Law The Bible uses the word ‘law’ in a variety of ways: a) the moral will of God b) the Mosaic law c) as obedience to God d) the Old Testament
  11. 11. The Law1) Definitions of Law The Bible uses the word ‘law’ in a variety of ways: a) the moral will of God b) the Mosaic law c) as obedience to God d) the Old Testament e) specific laws
  12. 12. The Law1) Definitions of Law The Bible uses the word ‘law’ in a variety of ways: a) the moral will of God b) the Mosaic law c) as obedience to God d) the Old Testament e) specific laws f) an operating principle
  13. 13. The Law1) Definitions of the Law We can distinguish between three main uses of the law:2) Purposes of the Law
  14. 14. The Law1) Definitions of the Law We can distinguish between three main uses of the law:2) Purposes of the Law a) the political use of the law
  15. 15. The Law1) Definitions of the Law We can distinguish between three main uses of the law:2) Purposes of the Law a) the political use of the law b) the evangelistic use of the law
  16. 16. The Law1) Definitions of the Law We can distinguish between three main uses of the law:2) Purposes of the Law a) the political use of the law b) the evangelistic use of the law c) the instructional use of the law
  17. 17. The Law1) Definitions of the Law Jesus Christ fulfilled the law in four senses:2) Purposes of the Law3) Fulfilment of the Law
  18. 18. The Law1) Definitions of the Law Jesus Christ fulfilled the law in four senses:2) Purposes of the Law a) Jesus enacted its3) Fulfilment of the Law commands.
  19. 19. The Law1) Definitions of the Law Jesus Christ fulfilled the law in four senses:2) Purposes of the Law a) Jesus enacted its3) Fulfilment of the Law commands. b) Jesus embodied its predictions
  20. 20. The Law1) Definitions of the Law Jesus Christ fulfilled the law in four senses:2) Purposes of the Law a) Jesus enacted its3) Fulfilment of the Law commands. b) Jesus embodied its predictions c) Jesus explained its core
  21. 21. The Law1) Definitions of the Law Jesus Christ fulfilled the law in four senses:2) Purposes of the Law a) Jesus enacted its3) Fulfilment of the Law commands. b) Jesus embodied its predictions c) Jesus explained its core d) Jesus eliminated its sacrifices
  22. 22. The LawC. Fulfilment of Law 1. Jesus enacted its commands 2. Jesus embodied its predictions 3. Jesus explained its core 4. Jesus eliminated its sacrifices
  23. 23. Point 2THE LAW OF LOVE
  24. 24. Situation EthicsWe can DEFINE situation ethics in four points:
  25. 25. Situation EthicsWe can DEFINE situation ethics in four points: 1) Situation ethics is the belief that there are no absolutes.
  26. 26. Situation EthicsWe can DEFINE situation ethics in four points: 1) Situation ethics is the belief that there are no absolutes. 2) What is right or wrong depends entirely on the situation.
  27. 27. Situation EthicsWe can DEFINE situation ethics in four points: 1) Situation ethics is the belief that there are no absolutes. 2) What is right or wrong depends entirely on the situation. 3) Secular form: love for self is the guiding principle.
  28. 28. Situation EthicsWe can DEFINE situation ethics in four points: 1) Situation ethics is the belief that there are no absolutes. 2) What is right or wrong depends entirely on the situation. 3) Secular form: love for self is the guiding principle. 4) Christian form: love for others is the guiding principle.
  29. 29. Situation EthicsWe can EVALUATE situation ethics in four points:
  30. 30. Situation EthicsWe can EVALUATE situation ethics in four points: 1) Situation ethics has a false foundation.
  31. 31. Situation EthicsWe can EVALUATE situation ethics in four points: 1) Situation ethics has a false foundation. 2) Situation ethics has a false view of love.
  32. 32. Situation EthicsWe can EVALUATE situation ethics in four points: 1) Situation ethics has a false foundation. 2) Situation ethics has a false view of love. 3) Situation ethics has a false view of law.
  33. 33. Situation EthicsWe can EVALUATE situation ethics in four points: 1) Situation ethics has a false foundation. 2) Situation ethics has a false view of love. 3) Situation ethics has a false view of law. 4) Situation ethics has a false view of man.
  34. 34. The Law of LoveGod’s law is an expressionof his love for us. Itteaches how to live a lifeof love by giving concreteteaching about what isloving and what is not.
  35. 35. The Law of LoveGod’s law is an expression 1) Christian situation ethicsof his love for us. It misinterprets some keyteaches how to live a life scriptures.of love by giving concreteteaching about what isloving and what is not.
  36. 36. The Law of LoveGod’s law is an expression 1) Christian situation ethicsof his love for us. It misinterprets some keyteaches how to live a life scriptures.of love by giving concrete 2) These verses do notteaching about what is mean that loveloving and what is not. substitutes for the law.
  37. 37. The Law of LoveGod’s law is an expression 1) Christian situation ethicsof his love for us. It misinterprets some keyteaches how to live a life scriptures.of love by giving concrete 2) These verses do notteaching about what is mean that loveloving and what is not. substitutes for the law. 3) They mean that love summarises the commands of the law.
  38. 38. The Law of God
  39. 39. The Ten CommandmentsPRINCIPLES OF INTERPRETATION
  40. 40. Principles of Interpretation If we are to use the Ten Commandments as a guide framework for biblical ethics, how are we to interpret them? There are four important principles that we need to follow.
  41. 41. Principles of Interpretation1) The Ten Commandments must be interpreted as a legal code with a loving core.
  42. 42. Principles of Interpretation1) The Ten Commandments must be interpreted as a legal code with a loving core.2) The Ten Commandments must be interpreted from negative to positive.
  43. 43. Principles of Interpretation1) The Ten Commandments must be interpreted as a legal code with a loving core.2) The Ten Commandments must be interpreted from negative to positive.3) The Ten Commandments must be interpreted from narrow to broad.
  44. 44. Principles of Interpretation1) The Ten Commandments must be interpreted as a legal code with a loving core.2) The Ten Commandments must be interpreted from negative to positive.3) The Ten Commandments must be interpreted from narrow to broad.4) The Ten Commandments must be interpreted from action to attitude.
  45. 45. The Ten CommandmentsLIBERTY, LEGALISM, AND LICENCE
  46. 46. Liberty, Legalism, and Licence1) Legalism: uses rules to govern every aspect of life.
  47. 47. Liberty, Legalism, and Licence1) Legalism: uses rules to govern every aspect of life.2) License: attempts to live without any rules.
  48. 48. Liberty, Legalism, and Licence1) Legalism: uses rules to govern every aspect of life.2) License: attempts to live without any rules.3) Liberty: gives enough instruction to direct life without strangling it.
  49. 49. Conclusion
  50. 50. Conclusion1) The first half of this lesson examined the law of love. Whereas many argue that love is the only norm, we believe that the law of God is the biblical expression of the love of God. The law teaches us how love behaves.2) The Ten Commandments can serve as a framework for biblical ethics, provided that they are properly interpreted. They encourage liberty, rather than legalism or licence.

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