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A theological ethic, part 2

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This is the second in a series of posts adapted from the lecture "What is a Theological Ethic?" by Dr. Gary Deddo, president of GCSFor other posts in this series, click a number: 1, 3, 45.

There is a tendency to approach obedience to God's directives and instructions in one of two misguided ways. The first is legalism -- seeking through obedience to earn God's favor, thus overlooking the reality that God's grace underlies all of God's commands. The second misdirected approach is antinomianism -- treating God's commands as arbitrary and thus subject to being re-worked or entirely dismissed. Both approaches undermine true biblical obedience, which the apostle Paul calls the obedience of faith (or the obedience that comes from faith) (Rom. 1:5; 16:26). Legalism and antinomianism both arise when the commands of God are detached from their biblical context -- their grounding in the grand narrative of God's plan for humanity with its four scenes: Creati…

A theological ethic, part 1

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This is the first in a series of posts adapted from "What is a Theological Ethic?" -- a lecture by Dr. Gary Deddo, president of GCS. For other posts in this series, click a number: 2, 3, 45.

How can we help the people in our care learn to think like Christ? A principal way is to help them develop a theological ethic -- an approach to ethics built on the foundation of our knowledge of God (theology). But what does a theological ethic look like, and why is it important? We will seek to answer these questions through the course of this series of posts.
Defining a theological ethic The theological ethic presented in this series is thoroughly biblical in that it takes into account the whole of the biblical narrative. Rather than picking out individual Bible verses (proof-texting), it considers the entire history of God’s interaction with his creation. Because the focus of that history is the person and work of Jesus, this theological ethic involves taking onthe mind of Christ(I…