Microethics are the personal acts of an individual, his or her personal gifts of charity and personal works of love. Macroethics are the corporate acts of the whole culture, which should be designed to build a just society. Both are important.
Some of classical prophetism’s persistent themes are sounded again, reinterpreted out of the broadening experiences of the sixth century.
Napier explores the tensions between mind and faith in four areas: in apocalypse as found in Isaiah 24-27, Joel, and Zechariah 9-14; pride and justification as seen in Job; faith and worldly wisdom in Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon; and Judaism vis-a-vis the world in Daniel, Esther and Jonah.
"You shall not bear false witness" is a call to a life that is open, free, vulnerable, and risky, but that is where life is lived, and that is where its meaning is found.
“You shall not covet” is the behavioral application of “You shall have no other gods but me.” The author suggests several implications in seeking a just and humane society.
What does one do when things are at their blackest? Ellul turns next to Joram who faces a deeply distressing situation. This provides the stimulus for reflection on the role of the prophet amid the worst situation. There is also delicate analysis of how God works through decisions of humans whether or not they are responsive to God’s word through the prophet.
What is recalled in Genesis about Abraham is hardly the distillation of hero tales. They are not the exploits of Abraham but the initiative, the actions and the purpose of Yahweh in his relationship with Abraham.
Genesis 1-11 sets the particular story of Israel against the background of all creation and in the midst of universal human existence. Creation is not envisaged as creation out of nothing, but rather as the radical transformation of prior chaos by Yahweh. The universal human situation is described in the self-contained tales of the Garden of Eden (3), the Brothers Cain and Abel (4), the Flood (6-9), and the Tower of Babel (11). These tell the story of man’s rebellion against Yahweh’s good intentions in creation, the alienation from God that resulted, and the introduction of the theme of salvation as seen in the call of Abraham.
The role of written transmission, while significantly existent, remained sometimes, and for long periods of time, subordinate to that of oral transmission.
The glory and the holiness of the God of Mount Sinai calls forth in the Covenant people awe, wonder, and fear, which is expressed, finally, in their obedience to those principles through which God’s presence is seen in human life.