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Lesson 8 ~ Christian Ethics ~ Ethical Perspectives of the Early Church Part 2 ~ Essay

By:  Rev. Trent Murman



Please state the three (3) closely interrelated issues looked at in lessons 7 and 8.  1. The law and the gospel.  2. The Kingdom and the Christian community.  3.  The gospel and social institutions.


The problem of the relations of the law and the gospel is essentially that of two kinds of authority. Please name them.  Code morality or externally given or authoritarian morality versus the loving, faith-filled response of the Christian to the grace of God in Christ.


Related to these two kinds of authority are two major issues. Please name them.  The relation of Christianity to the moral obligations resting upon Israel, and the more difficult and important problem of the relation of the gospel of salvation through Christ to the law of love.

Generally speaking, when did Jesus feel that it was ok to disregard ceremonial Jewish law?  . The moral law of Israel, as obedience to the will of the God who required of men justice, mercy, and faith, Jesus never set aside, though by his acts and his words he put deeper and wider content into these terms than any before him had done. The ceremonial law, as a good Jew, he apparently retained except where it conflicted with service to human need, and this was often. Then he did not hesitate to disregard it.

Please briefly explain "philia" love.  Philia means close friendship or brotherly love in Greek. It is one of the four types of love in the Bible.


Please briefly explain "eros" love.  Eros is the physical, sensual love between a husband and wife.


Which of the three (3) "loves" mentioned in these lessons, is a divine command in the Bible?  Agape is unmotivated love is a divine demand

As stated in Lesson 7, only one law is either adequate or mandatory? Please briefly state it.  'You shall love your neighbor as yourself'" (Gal. 5:14).

Please briefly state three (3) reasons why it is important to relate the gospel to the "orders" of earthly society.   The first point to note is that the gospel never works in a vacuum, and because of the surrounding environment with its traditionalism, emotional ties, and social pressures, neither an individual nor a group is ever completely transformed.  The second observation is that the slowness of men to respond to Christ is no excuse for lethargy, or vacillation, or inactivity on our part.  The third is the commonplace but essential observation that there can be no legitimate cleavage between an individual and a social gospel. 

Please briefly state three (3) points/observations that we can deduce in which both conservatism and revolutionary challenge can be seen being sanctioned by the gospel.  In the first place, we who are Christians today, like those of the early Church, must live in two worlds at once. These worlds, traditionally referred to as the "order of creation" and the "order of redemption," converge at the point of trying to be a Christian within the daily demands of the family, the job, the community around us, and the larger community of the state and the world of nations.  A second reason for looking at the fruits of the gospel in New Testament society has both a positive and a negative side.  The more obvious answer is, of course, that life in Eastern Mediterranean occupied territory, in a simple, leisurely, prescientific age, among a small minority having no political power, was very different from the conditions of today.  A third factor, both as asset and liability, stems from the preceding. There is much that is of permanent validity, not only in the words of Jesus but in the rest of the New Testament, as to how a Christian should act in relation to other men.

Go In Peace
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