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Reviving Evangelical Ethics: The Promises and Pitfalls of Classic Models of Morality Paperback


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Reviving Evangelical Ethics: The Promises and Pitfalls of Classic Models of Morality + Christian Ethics: Contemporary Issues and Options + Beyond Bumper Sticker Ethics: An Introduction to Theories of Right and Wrong
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Brazos Press (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587431890
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587431890
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #205,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Combining appreciation and critique, Wyndy Corbin Reuschling skillfully teases out the particular dynamics at work in the moral thinking of many evangelicals. By carefully analyzing the impact of several moral traditions on evangelicalism, she invites readers into a fuller recognition of the shaping power of scripture and Christian community, and into more robust practices of Christian discipleship. This book is an important contribution to understanding and strengthening evangelical ethics."--Christine D. Pohl, Asbury Theological Seminary

"This book honors evangelical commitments to the authority of scripture, to a personal relation with Jesus, and to evangelism. But it challenges some of the ways evangelicals have brought those commitments to bear on Christian ethics, and it suggests better ways, ways that might indeed revive evangelical ethics."--Allen Verhey, Duke University

"Wendy Corbin Reuschling's text provides a fresh, insistently self-critical study of the construction of evangelical ethics offered by an evangelical 'insider.' Her personal honesty and thought-provoking analysis makes this a compelling and timely basic resource on the content of Christian ethics."--Traci C. West, Drew University Theological School

"Evangelical writers in the field of social ethics have for too long given only narrow slices of God's rich and complex vision for how we are to live. At last here is a book that helps us see the limitations of evangelical ethics built on Aristotelian, Kantian, and Millian ethical reflection. Corbin Reuschling deconstructs current evangelical approaches to Christian social ethics in order to construct a truly biblical vision of what it is to be a people of God."--Alice Mathews, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

"Reviving Evangelical Ethics offers an appreciative but rigorous critique of the ways that classical moral theory has limited ethics to reflection on the demands of duty, the achievement of certain results, or personal virtue. This important book redefines the boundaries of evangelical ethics in salutarily progressive ways, while raising timely cautions concerning the therapeutic models of spiritual formation that further inhibit the development of the social dimension of Christian ethics."--David A. deSilva, Ashland Theological Seminary

"An important book for evangelicals. It seeks nothing less than a fresh, biblical, and formational direction in evangelical ethics. The book carefully assesses common contemporary evangelical stances and points the biblical and theological way forward toward truly evangelical ethics. It is a delightfully written, insightful book and deserves a wide reading."--Robert L. Hubbard, North Park Theological Seminary

About the Author

Wyndy Corbin Reuschling (Ph.D., Drew University) is associate professor of ethics and theology at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio. She has written for publications such as The Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics and Ashland Theological Journal.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Flashing on November 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
As an ethicist and cultural critic, I enjoy engaging all kinds of ideas because I take seriously the biblical injunction to 'take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.'

People face an onslaught of challenges in todays world that necessitate biblical reflection such that their decisions are most glorifying to God. This isn't to imply that the bible contains every answer for ever dilemma we face. It does, however, provide us with principles and rules through which we can consider other matters that aren't specifically mentioned in the Bible.

So I find myself baffled, when with little explanation, I hear it taught that "Christianity isn't a set of rules," that it's about a relationship with God. You probably think at this point that I'm a moron, that I would actually question such a statement. Of course, I accept and embrace that Christianity is about the relationship I have with God, but this isn't to the exclusion of considering ways of right living and a pursuit of God that seeks to glorify him in our lives, lives that are a sequence of actions. I fear we confuse people when we speak of it in any other way.

Often when we consider the overall nature of the bible, we think of the old testament as containing the Law and plethora of unachievable expectations in the form of rules and regulations. Then as grace enters the picture through the loving sacrifice of Jesus, we see the fulfillment of the Law in Christ. The tendency to not see grace in the old testament and see no place for rules in the new testament leaves a believer missing a lot of what the Bible was intended to communicate to its readers.

In her book, Reviving Evangelical Ethics, Wyndy Corbin Reuschling hones in on the topic of ethics and its relationship to the Christian life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Francisco L. Muniz on January 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wyndy Corbin Reuschling, associate professor of ethics and theology at Ashland Theological Seminary, writes Reviving Evangelical Ethics: The Promises and Pitfalls of Classic Models of Morality, as an attempt to address misconceptions on the topic of ethics in general and Christian ethics in particular. To accomplish this, the author examines three classic theories of ethics: deontology, teleology, and virtue ethics. She desires to interact with these with the intention of articulating the claims of these classic theories and the ways in which the contexts and stories that gave birth to Kant's understanding of duty, Mill's principle of utility, and Aristotle's view of virtue may conflict from the Christian faith. Reuschling also presents a critique about the ways in which they limit moral norms to just duty, just what works, and to just personal piety.

A substantial introductory chapter deals with the need of reviving evangelical ethics. The author believes that this revival is needed since Christian ethics is commonly defined as taking a right position on right issues based on social context and culture war debates. Instead, she elucidates that Christian ethics should be based on scripture, the Kingdom of God, and the Christian community, which leads to a development of capacities in moral agency, moral discernment, and the formation of conscience.

In chapter one the author explains the three classic theorists by noting the influences and central ideas of duty, utility, and virtue. It is quite evident by her exposition of the subject that she finds areas of the classical thinkers that are troubling when compared with a Christian perspective.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Chad Oberholtzer on February 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
In "Reviving Evangelical Ethics," Wyndy Corbin Reuschling critiques three classical models of thinking about ethics and morality, especially as those models have found their way into the ethical thinking of the 21st century American evangelical church. The first model that she analyzes is Immanuel Kant's deontological approach, which focuses exclusively on duty, obligation, and rules that can be ascertained by rational reasoning alone. The second model that she considers is John Stuart Mill's teleological approach, which focuses exclusively on utilitarianism, ends, and outcomes. The third model that she considers is Aristotle's virtue ethics, which focuses exclusively on habits, behaviors, and decisions.

Reuschling does a commendable job in pointing out the foibles of how the evangelical church often approaches ethical issues, in light of the largely unacknowledged influence of Kant, Mill, and Aristotle. And she is careful to acknowledge that her call to "revival" of evangelical ethics is not focused on eliminating the church's concern for rules or outcomes or virtues. In fact, she was especially clear to reiterate that the Bible can function as a source of rules of morality. Her point is that it does not only function in this way. And she very pointedly clarified that spiritual disciplines are an essential part of aligning the Christian life with right ethical thinking. However, they are insufficient to the entirety of that task. One place where I found her critique to be a bit uneven was the way that she seemed to entirely discard the influence of utilitarianism within the church, almost implying that there is no value in thinking about outcomes.
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