Introduction to Christian Ethics


Religion and Morality

Autonomous: morality is completely independent of religion.

Support: it is wrong to link fear with punishment (e.g. hell) people arern't moral because they don't want to go to hell.

Support:cultural relativism - religious morality is often fixed, different religions; hard to set one moral code based on religion.

Heteronomy: morality is shaped by religious teachings.

Support:situation ethics; we apply agape love - influenced by religion. 

Support: in a secular society there is "an eye for an eye" etc. can't have complete autonomy -> influence over moral decisions.

Theonomy: morality and religion are one in the same. God is the moral authority: not us.

Christian Ethics Model


  • ABSOLUTE: Divine Command Theory
  • RATIONALISTIC: Closer to absolute, natural law/kantian ethics
  • RELATIVE: situation ethics

The Divine Command Theory (Ethical


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