Christian Ethics

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Two sources of authority- The Bible and thy inner

The Bible is the main source of authority. Each passage has complex revelations.

  • Fundamentalists see the Bible as God's word. God's messages were directly coveyed to the different writers and everything neccesary for salvation can be found in the scriptures.
  • For Protestants as well, the Bible is the main souce of authority but interpreting  scriptures lies within individual church groups. E.g. Protestants
  • Anglicans 'low church' see the Bible as sole authority. They oppose gay rights on where the bible stands.
  • Church of England- Anglican catholics and liberal anglicans use the Bible, Church & Reason.
  • Roman Catholics- Bible but possibly magestirium of the Church. Pope has huge power and does this through sermons and pastoral letters to the faithful in Rome.

Inner Self

  • Private prayer- helps contemplate what has gone wrong and what is needed for a good life. Conscience- God's voice. Semiles- Eucharist
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Divine Command theory

God is the father, son and holy spirit. This links to the opening chapters of genesis as God made the universe through his word and since he is perfect, his creation is without fault. Christians are bound to respect God's creation and live in accordance to God. God's omnipotence makes us helpless- Theological volunteerism/divine command theory-Human beings ought to do what God wills. God is all powerful therefore has total freedom to do what he wants as he controls us through divine law.

Strengths

  • Conforms to the christian idea God is omniopotent. Divine soverignity
  • Shows God is creator therefore we have a duty to care for the universe
  • Objective moral system and gives universalizability
  • Emphasises virture and obedience

Criticsms

  • Euthyphro dilemma- is X good because God command it or is X good because of God?
  • Freewill runs contray to obidence
  • We do not know God's true desires
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Jesus & Holy Spirit & Paul's Moral teachings

The teachings of Jesus prepare us for the kingdom of God.

  • Sermon on the Mt discusses central moral questions to Christianity
  • Jesus' Golden Rule is to do to others as you wish to be treated. So you should 'love thy neigbour' in the sense you will be loved back

Holy Spirit

  • The creative power of God is present in the world. Nature of spirit encourages people to do good. 'New creation' ecology.

Pauls Moral teachings

  • Christian morality should immitate Jesus' lifestyle.
  • Love, kindess and genorisity are vital
  • The Body of Christ- Christians are apart of a body whose head is Christ. The eucharist, mass and holy communioun are about gathering not division.
  • Agape- Christs are apart of christ.  3 gifts to which all Christians should aim- faith-love-hope- which can help heal the divide in the body of christ.
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Law & Sin

  • Idea of sin is central to Christian morality
  • Most Christians belive in original sin which is the fall of man in Eden
  • Today they see is as a metaphor that human beings are inclined to do bad things
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