Buchbesprechung: Erster Eindruck von Grudems Ethik

Ich habe bisher 300 Seiten von Wayne Grudems neuer Ethik gelesen und bin beeindruckt. Zu meiner Rezension geht es hier. Ein grosser Pluspunkt ist die transparente, nachvollziehbare Darstellung seiner theologischen Positionen. Bereits auf S. 23-24 kündigt er an (Aufzählung und Hervorhebungen von mir):

I think it is only fair to readers of this book to say at the beginning what my convictions are regarding several ethical issues that are disputed within evangelical Christianity.

  • I hold to a conservative view of biblical inerrancy, very much in agreement with the “Chicago Statement” of the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy (chap. 3).
  • While I agree that Christians are justified by faith alone and not by works, I also believe that our obedience is still important to God, that it brings us much joy and blessing, and that sin is still harmful in various ways (chap. 5).
  • I think that the Bible is the only absolute source of moral standards for us, but I also believe that, subject to Scripture, it is right to give consideration to subjective perceptions of the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives (chap. 6).
  • Because of God’s promises to us, I argue that we will never be put in a situation where we are forced to choose the “lesser sin” (chap. 7).
  • Regarding the use of the Old Testament for ethics, I argue that the entire Mosaic covenant has been abrogated and is no longer binding on us, but we can still gain wisdom from it if we bear in mind that it was God’s plan for the people of Israel for a previous era in history (chap. 8).
  • I conclude from many passages of Scripture that it is never right to lie, in the sense of affirming in speech or writing something we believe to be false (chap. 12).
  • I hold that men and women are equal in value before God, but that God has entrusted the husband with a unique leadership role in marriage (chap. 15).
  • I argue that capital punishment is morally right in some cases (chap. 18), that some wars are morally acceptable as “just wars” (chap. 19), that it is morally right to use physical force to defend ourselves or others from harm in many situations (chap. 20), that abortion is always morally wrong except to save the life of the mother (chap. 21), and that euthanasia is always wrong if it involves murdering a terminally ill patient, but that “letting die” is sometimes morally right (chap. 22).
  • I conclude that drunkenness is always wrong, but that Scripture does not prohibit moderate use of alcohol, though I recognize good reasons why some Christians may choose total abstinence; in addition, I am opposed to laws that would legalize recreational marijuana (chap. 27). I argue that some forms of birth control are morally acceptable (chap. 29) and that there are only two legitimate grounds for divorce, adultery and desertion, in which cases remarriage is morally acceptable (chap. 32). I argue that Scripture always views homosexual conduct as morally wrong, and that recent attempts to say that Scripture does not condemn contemporary, faithful homosexual relationships are unpersuasive (chap. 33).
  • I believe that God approves private ownership of property (chap. 34) and that he also intends that in the process of subduing the earth human beings will enjoy increased prosperity, but I disagree with the distinctive teachings of the “prosperity gospel” movement (chap. 36). Regarding solutions to poverty, I believe that charitable donations and government welfare programs are important to meet urgent needs, but the only long-term solution to poverty will come not through increased generosity but only by the poor being enabled to have productive jobs by which they can support themselves for life (chap. 37). I advocate wise use of the environment, not destructive misuse, and I also give reasons to think that all of the earth’s natural resources will continue to be abundant for the foreseeable future. I argue that we should continue to use fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas) as good gifts from God, and that the use of them will not cause dangerous man-made global warming (chap. 41).