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Definition

Christian ethics is guided by God’s revelation in Scripture above other systems of thought as it seeks to love God and neighbor in every moral and ethical issue.

Summary

The highest ethical duty of a Christian is the same as the greatest commandment: love God and love your neighbor. Scripture is the Christian authority for ethics, just as it is for theology. This is because God is our ultimate authority and standard, for he himself is goodness. While Christians know God’s character through reading Scripture, unbelievers are able to partially and imperfectly understand what is good through the created order and their consciences. And while Christians ultimately derive their ethics from Scripture, different parts of Scripture (like the Mosaic legal code) must be read in their redemptive historical context and not simply applied from one distant culture to another. Philosophical systems that attempt to provide ethical norms can be helpful for the Christian thinking about ethics, but Scripture must remain the authority for any Christian ethical endeavor. Finally, while there are many issues today that the Bible does not speak directly to, there are biblical principles that can be relied upon to make an informed moral judgment.

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