Chapter 2: The Covenant, the Law, and the Prophets  in  Christian Ethics

Book Chapter by Georgia Harkness

In tracing the source of Christian ethics to its Old Testament roots, the author explores the covenant and its developing radical monotheism, the law as it evolved from cultic ritual observances to a more humanitarian community of law, the prophets and their refining of Yahweh’s judgment and mercy, finally to Jesus’ unique understanding of God – centered moral living that moved beyond his Old Testament heritage to an exemplification of hope for the righteous rule of God in a redeemed community for this world and the next.

Chapter 3: The Ethics of Jesus  in  Christian Ethics

Book Chapter by Georgia Harkness

The primary and final authority for Christian ethics is found in the life, teachings, ministry and death of Jesus Christ as the revelation of God. He clarified the ethical demands of a God-centered life by applying obedient love or agape to all human situations, both personal and social, and insisted this included the earthly as well as the eternal, and required our best actions amid the relativities of the present world.

Chapter 5: God, Sin, and Christian Character  in  Christian Ethics

Book Chapter by Georgia Harkness

Christian ethics begin with the assumption that Christian character is founded, not on naturalism or humanism, but on Jesus as the supreme revealer of God, that Christian virtues are not the exclusive possession of Christians, that sin is not a state of being but rebellious self-love and self-exaltation that leads to failure to be adequately responsive to the love commandment of Jesus, that humans are created free to make moral choices, and Christians are called to make these choices in light of the love commandment.

Chapter 6: Duties to Self and Society  in  Christian Ethics

Book Chapter by Georgia Harkness

Jesus’ love commandment assumes we will love ourselves and calls us to expand beyond self-realization to devotion to God, and concern for others. Brotherly love should not be restricted to interpersonal relations, however primary they may be, but extend to wider service, including social service and social action to those persons and institutions not known to us directly, where social sin calls for our best response in the light of the gospel.