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March 10, 2011 / compassioninpolitics

Whats unique about Christian ethics

What are the unique characteristics of christian ethics?

1) Grace and forgiveness
2) Humility
3) Loving your enemy
4) Loving your neighbor
5) Loving and serving the most vulnerable
6) Stewardship (talents, resources, and money)
7) the importance of the heart (intent)
8] Spiritual discipleship: prayer, Bible reading, etc.
9) the spiritual dimension of Christian ethics
10) the role of Jesus in Christian ethics (redemption, the prodigal, the historical grounding etc….)
11) nobility of suffering for the cause
12) missions & the Great commission

I would add at least five others for a total of 18 unique attributes of Christian morality:

1) the role of wisdom
2) the unique intersection of the wisdom of philosophy (ethics) & psychology (relationships, community, and forgiveness) in the “economy of God”
3) holistic: it integrates the heart, head, and spiritual
4) empathy and compassion (and the fruits of the spirit)
5) honesty (which is the basis of trust, relationships, truth, and the role confession)
6) I would further suggest that the philosophical and legal impact of Christian values and ethics is pretty noteworthy in its own right.

I think establishing it as the grounding for human meaning, purpose, and value is pretty easy. In addition I think the role of joy is interesting (particularly given the 2 types of happiness: joy vs. hedonic pleasure).

Three things to remember: these are probably not all the unique characteristics of Christian ethics. Each characteristic is not unique, however taken together they represent a unique ethical system. Note that 9 & 10 are descriptions, but not the “values” themselves.

What do you think makes Christian values and ethics unique?


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