Self Love and Christian Ethics (New Studies in Christian Ethics)

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Darlene Fozard Weaver explains that right self love entails a true self-understanding that is embodied in the person's concrete acts and relations. In making this argument, she calls upon ethicists to revisit ontological accounts of the self and to devote more attention to particular moral acts. Self love in Christian ethics. A hermeneutical account of selfrelation. In making this argument, she calls upon ethicists to revisit ontological accounts of the self and to devote more attention to particular moral acts. Help Centre. My Wishlist Sign In Join.

Be the first to write a review. Add to Wishlist. Ships in 10 to 15 business days. Link Either by signing into your account or linking your membership details before your order is placed. Description Table of Contents Product Details Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! Industry Reviews "In her thorough study, a contribution to a prestigious series, Darlene Fozard Weaver addresses a central and fairly neglected theme: the meaning and moral implications of proper self-love.

The contemporary problem of self love Self love in Christian ethics A hermeneutical account of self-relation Right self love Self love and moral action Self love, religion and morality Table of Contents provided by Publisher. Ought children to be starved in body, mind, or soul? Christians have no doubt as to the answer, though how to carry out the implications of the answer may not be simple. Even on such moot matters as race relations and war, the Christian conscience has spoken in our time with an amazing degree of unanimity as to principle. And if principles can be agreed upon, the groundwork is laid for action.

It is hoped that the reader whose primary interest is in the one or the other of these two approaches will agree to the necessity of the other. Said the philosopher Immanuel Kant, "Form without content is empty; content without form is blind. Principles can never be rightly declared in a vacuum, and to try to say what is right in concrete issues without grounding decision in principle is to exalt personal preference — if not whim — into the status of universal truth.

Theological Ethics

But what is Christian ethics? Before any attempt is made to define its principles, an important prior question must be settled.

Lecture 1: Issues in Christian Ethics - Dr. John Feinberg

What are we talking about? There are at least six frames of reference within which the term has been used. These overlap and meet at the edges, but much confusion has come about from failure to see clearly that they are different frames of reference. Christian ethics may mean 1 the best in the moral philosophy of all ages and places, 2 the moral standards of Christendom, 3 the ethics of the Christian Church and its many churches, 4 the ethics of the Bible, 5 the ethics of the New Testament, and 6 the ethical insights of Jesus. These are in a sense concentric circles, for nothing is apt to be called Christian unless it is in some way — whether tightly or loosely — linked with the revelation of God in Jesus Christ.

Yet in another sense, depending much on the tightness or looseness of this connection, they may more accurately be regarded as intersecting circles. Both in current Western society and in the churches much is advocated that bears some relation to what the Bible records of the life and teachings of Jesus, yet does not center focally at this point. The focus may be in Greek philosophy, or traditional Christian thought or the Old Testament prophets, or the writings of Paul, or simply the demands of foreign policy and democratic action in the twentieth century, and still it goes by the name of Christian ethics.

One has only to look at a cross section of the moral injunctions in the sermons, the popular religious writing, and the church pronouncements of the present to see this illustrated, and even the writers of important books on Christian ethical theory do not always define their standing ground.

II. Hermeneutics and Ethics

The term "Christian ethics," as I shall use it, means a systematic study of the way of life exemplified and taught by Jesus, applied to the manifold problems and decisions of human existence. It therefore finds its base in the last of these frames of reference, and in the other five only as they are consistent with the sixth and exist as applications or implications of the moral insights of Jesus. This is not to claim that we have a perfect record of the life and teachings of Jesus, for historical scholarship has made it clear that the records we have in the Gospels reflect not only what Jesus was and did and said, but also what the early Church believed about him.

Still less is it to claim that any fallible human mind can enter so fully into the divine-human consciousness of Jesus as to say without error what his judgment would be in every concrete case of contemporary decision, It is only to affirm that we have an adequate, a dependable, and an indispensable guide to Christian action in what we know of Jesus and in what through him we know of God.

No other guide, however important and useful, is either adequate, or so dependable, or so indispensable. To define more explicitly what is involved in the moral perspective of Jesus will require presently more extended treatment. But it will be a step toward it, and a step away from confusing it with something else, if we now briefly compare and contrast it with each of the other five frames of reference. Still less does it mean loving others for the sake of receiving love or other benefits in return. Agape love means, rather, an uncalculating, outgoing spirit of loving concern which finds expression in deeds of service without limit.

Yet it is implied throughout his recorded words from the Sermon on the Mount to the Last Supper discourse.

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For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. How does this differ from the focus of reference in the various systems of classical moral philosophy?

General Introductions / Readers in Christian Ethics

Though this is not the place for an extended exposition of them, even a casual glance may suggest that there are both affinities and differences. Platonic thought makes much of eros, and eros means love. Yet agape love, and Bishop Nygren has shown this at length in his now classic Agape and Eros , is not the same thing as eros.

This is achieved in the individual only through promoting the well-being of others. It therefore involves mutuality in love. Its modern correlate is the quest for "the good life" through self-realization. But is not this what a Christian ought to desire? It has much to commend it, and no Christian ought to disparage it. But to the Christian is eros enough? That is our problem. Its doctrine of an all-pervasive World-Reason, or Logos, and of a natural law of morality fundamental to all existence and embracing in its scope all men, had a note of universalism which made Stoicism particularly open to amalgamation with Christian thought.

These, of course, are not the only classical systems of moral philosophy. There is the utilitarianism of Bentham and Mill, centered in the "greatest happiness of the greatest number" and the measurement of all courses of action by their usefulness toward this end. From the early days of Christianity to the present, various courses have been followed with regard to the relations of Christian ethics to moral philosophies stemming from other sources. One has been the process of incorporation and amalgamation. In practice, this has often meant the accommodation of Christian principles to what was incorporated.

Starting from a laudable desire to propagate Christianity by finding points of contact with the non-Christian world, it has tended to de-emphasize what is distinctive in Christianity in order to stress common ground. At its worst, this has meant the complete subsuming of Christian ethics within philosophical ethics even to the point of disclaiming that anything to be called Christian ethics exists.

At its best, it has bred a form of "coalition ethics" 3 in which natural law and the insights of Plato, Aristotle, and other great philosophers are drawn upon to supplement Christian ethics in areas where the gospel gives no specific directives. Examples of such incorporation and amalgamation, with varying levels of success, are seen in the incorporation by Clement of Alexandria of the best in Greek philosophy, the Thomistic assimilation of Aristotle, and the present-day tendency to adjust Christianity to a workable synthesis with the rationalistic, scientific, and humanitarian ideals of modern culture.

A second course follows as a reaction from the first. In alarm at the tendency to accommodate Christianity to the accepted standards of the secular world, there is a repudiation by Christian leaders of all sources of moral decision not specifically grounded in the Bible. This is seen in the familiar Barthian mood of the present. In general this movement in ethics has gone along with the rejection of philosophical theology in the attempt to base Christian theology solely on the Bible.

It was illustrated in the early Church by Tertullian, who refused to give any credence to Greek philosophy, asking scornfully, "What has Athens to do with Jerusalem? Some of its exponents, notably Emil Brunner, have a large place for "middle axioms," or practical social directives, derived in part from the Christian ethic but less than a full expression of Christian agape. Christian ethics is on unsafe ground if it either sells its birthright by accommodation to secular standards or refuses to respect and learn from the moral wisdom of the ages.

The third possible approach is less easy to define, for its center lies more in attitudes than in specific procedures. These attitudes may be characterized as those of mutual understanding and critical appropriation. What is involved is that Christian moralists must familiarize themselves as thoroughly as possible with the history of philosophy, seek to understand other world views in their best forms as well as their worst, give them sympathetic but critical evaluation — then appropriate what is worth appropriating if it is not at variance with Christian faith.

But in this process, there must be no amalgamating of what is different, no surrender of what is distinctive in Christianity. If this process is followed faithfully, there can be some hope of mutuality, with some appropriation. To state in barest outline what can result if this procedure is followed, there can be a partial acceptance by Christians of the insights of Plato and the Stoics, but no identification of eros with agape, no substituting of stoic fortitude for devoted submission to the will of God.

The self-centered hedonism of Epicurus must be rejected because it is squarely opposed to Christian agape, while the duty ethics of Kant the utilitarianism of Bentham and Mill, and the contemporary emphasis on social adjustment may well be used as instruments for carrying out some aspects of the Christian moral imperative but ought never to be confused with its goals.

If this third position is accepted, we shall neither scorn moral philosophy nor identify Christian ethics with it. We shall rejoice that God has found many channels for the disclosure of truth to men and that these channels include the best rational thought of the ages on the nature and aims of the good life.

Yet while we thus rejoice, we shall not substitute them for what God has disclosed to us in Jesus Christ or admit any to be true which stands clearly at variance with his gospel. This third position, which I believe to be the only valid one, is what we shall attempt to maintain in this study.

For its wider philosophical basis, the reader is referred to my earlier book in this series, Foundations of Christian Knowledge , 6 and for its historical backgrounds insofar as they relate to Greek and Roman thought to The Sources of Western Morality. By Christendom we mean those geographical areas and those types of culture which have been largely influenced by Christian ideals.

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Self Love and Christian Ethics (New Studies in Christian Ethics) [Darlene Fozard Weaver] on dipotsdern.ga *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. "In her thorough study, a contribution to a prestigious series, Darlene Fozard Weaver addresses a central and fairly neglected theme: the meaning and moral.

It is nearly, though not fully, synonymous with "the West. The first is the expansion of Christianity into the Orient, so that there is now a world Church and a large penetration of Christian influence into areas predominantly non-Christian. The second is the ambiguous situation in those areas under Communist domination, wherein a political regime officially atheistic includes within its scope millions of persons who are still Christians. Should Communism succeed in stamping out Christianity, these areas would no longer be a part of Christendom; fortunately, this appears not likely to occur.

The identification of Christian ethics with the ethics of Christendom is more subtle, and hence more dangerous, than its identification with the various schools of moral philosophy.

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But intelligent criticisms have been levelled against repentance itself: for instance, that it results in unacknowledged moral injury. The commandment against murder Ex. Fifty-two percent of Evangelical leaders around the world say drinking alcohol is incompatible with being a good Evangelical. It is my contention that narcissism is the mental epidemic of the twentieth century, a plague to be fought by all means. Carbon fuels especially coal, oil, and natural gas are portable, efficient, and abundant sources of energy, and we should consider them to be good gifts from God and use them wisely and safely.

As one element it includes the latter, as is illustrated by the wide permeation of the social and educational philosophy of John Dewey within current American culture. Yet it is something more diffuse and usually more binding than the thought of any single philosopher or school. It involves the whole "climate of opinion" within which one is reared, lives, and does his work. And because there is so much that is good about this climate of opinion and environing structure, it is easy to identify it with the best and hallow it with the name of Christian. There is not space here to canvass in any detail the ways in which Christian ethics gets mixed up with the ethics of Christendom.

This I have tried to do in The Modern Rival of Christian Faith, 7 particularly in Part 2, where under the general caption of "Rival Secular Faiths" I have indicated elements of agreement and difference between Christianity and scientism, humanism, democracy, nationalism, racism, fascism, capitalism, and Communism.

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Further observations will be made on specific questions as we come to them later in this book.