Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Why do you do it?

We do not behave in the right way because we covet or fear the final consequences of this in terms of going to heaven or being cast into hell. To behave in this way is a betrayal of our relationship with God. Reasoning in this fashion, we don’t care about God, and we don’t care about the good either. We are behaving selfishly, and if we behave correctly for this reason we still sin. We should behave in the right way because we love God and want to do what pleases him. He has shown us what the good thing to do is and we want to do the good thing to please him. Christian ethics is covenantal because it flows from personal relationships—our personal relationship with a loving God—and we must hang on to this, earnest religious ethicists notwithstanding.

In sum: to be covenantal is to be ethical in the deepest possible way. To be contractual, supposedly on ethical grounds, is to weaken ethics drastically. So I am going to stay covenantal and read Paul in that way too, not least because I think he was so ethical.—Paul: An Apostle’s Journey, 143

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