Posts in Ethics

Thoughts on the New Testament and Economics

By Scott Rae Mar. 24, 2014 9:00 a.m. Ethics, New Testament, Old Testament, Philosophy

Though the New Testament is not a textbook on economics, it was immersed in a particular economic environment and much of the New Testament teaching had implications for economic life. In the New Testament, Jesus takes up right where the Old Testament prophets left off. Care for the poor was just as important to Jesus as it was to the prophets. When the followers of John the Baptist (who was in prison at the time) asked Jesus if He was indeed the Messiah who was to come, He answered in terms that could have been taken right out of the prophets. He put it like this, “Go back to John (the Baptist) and tell him what you have seen and heard—the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are being raised to life and the good news is being preached to the poor” (Matt. 11:4-5). The evidence that Jesus was who He claimed to be was not only that He did miracles, but who were the beneficiaries of those miracles were: the poor, marginalized and vulnerable. Similarly, when He spoke of final judgment and what would separate His true followers from the pretenders, He made it clear that how someone treats the poor is a critical indication of a person’s spiritual maturity. This is likely what Jesus meant when He said that, “I tell you the truth, when you did it to the least of these my brothers, you were doing it to me” (referring to feeding the hungry and taking in the needy, Matt. 25:40).

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“Let the One Who Has No Sword, Buy One”: The Biblical Argument for Gun Control, Part Two

By Moyer Hubbard Feb. 25, 2014 9:00 a.m. Theology, Culture, Ethics, New Testament

This is the second post in a series of blogs dealing with gun control from a Christian perspective. In the first installment (“Seek the Welfare of the City”), I sketched the general theological case for sane restriction on guns, particularly assault weapons, and applied biblical principles to common objections. Now I will begin looking at biblical texts used by Christian gun advocates to support their view that Scripture supports unrestricted access to lethal weaponry for private individuals. In this installment I examine Luke 22:36, where Jesus tells his disciples, “And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.”

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Thoughts on the Old Testament and Economics

By Scott Rae Jan. 14, 2014 9:00 a.m. Ethics, Old Testament, Philosophy

From the beginning, we learn that God created the world and called it good, making the material world fundamentally good (Gen. 1:31).  He further entrusted human beings with dominion over the earth—giving them both the privilege of enjoying the benefits of the material world, but also the responsibility for caring for the world.  We also learn that, from the beginning, God has implanted His wisdom into the world and given human beings the necessary tools to uncover His wisdom and apply it for their benefit (Proverbs 8:22-31).  God set human beings free to utilize their God-given intelligence, initiative and creativity in discerning and applying what the wisdom He embedded into the world—this is all a part of the responsible exercise of dominion over creation that brings innovation and productivity to benefit humankind.

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Doing the Right Thing: An Interview With Scott Rae

Nov. 25, 2013 11:25 a.m. Culture, Ethics

Scott Rae, professor of Philosophy of Religion and Ethics at Talbot, just released the new book, Doing the Right Thing: Making Moral Choices in a World Full of OptionsHe kindly took some time to answer a few questions about the book.

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Seek the Welfare of the City: The Biblical Argument for Gun Control, Part One

By Moyer Hubbard Nov. 18, 2013 9:00 a.m. Theology, Culture, Ethics, New Testament, Old Testament

This is the first of a series of blogs dealing with gun control from a Christian perspective. In this first installment, I sketch the general theological case for sane restriction on guns, particularly assault weapons, and apply biblical principles to common objections. In subsequent (shorter) posts, I will respond to alleged “biblical” arguments used by gun advocates, who claim that Scripture supports unrestricted access to lethal weaponry for private individuals.

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I Ran Across A Wedding Today

By Joe Hellerman Oct. 24, 2013 2:28 p.m. Church Life, Culture, Ethics, Marriage and Family

Literally. This morning I was jogging on the beach and came across four people: (1) a minister, (2)  photographer, (3) a young man in a tux, and (4) a young lady in a wedding dress. I think the ceremony had just ended, because they were signing the marriage license as I ran by. What was sad was that there was not another person in sight.

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Theology of the Body and Sexual Harm

By John McKinley Oct. 9, 2013 12:01 a.m. Theology, Ethics, Marriage and Family

“Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body” (1 Cor 6:18 NASB).

Why is sexual sin singled out as uniquely damaging to the body in a way that other physical actions are not? Substance abuse, gluttony, cutting—these are all harmful acts to the body, but they do not do what sexual misconduct does, according to Paul. Typical responses from students to explain this exception are that sex involves the whole person, or maybe because it involves someone else. The same could be said for illegal drug use, so there must be something more.

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