Some are claiming that a Christian school does not provide Christian education, since that commodity is found only in the church. The attributive noun “Christian” is suitable for describing only those matters directly related to the Christian gospel, like worship, church education, and things church-related. Allegedly, the most we can say regarding, for example, “Christian” education is that the noun “Christian” describes not the process or the product, but only the person teaching, and the latter only in terms of motivation.
By now readers will have discerned that the questions surrounding the unique character and significance of Christian cultural activity are far from benign. Snickers about “Christian plumbing” and “Christian football” notwithstanding, many North American believers refuse to settle for a “Sunday only” expression of Christian faith because they yearn for the healthy integration of faith and life.
With this brief post we’d like to direct you to a very significant chapter from a translated book that is awaiting publication.
The book is entitled Foundations of Christian Ethics, by J. Douma. Published in 1999, this expansive work of 413 pages presents thorough discussions of the following (these are chapter titles):
What is distinctive about Christian ethics?
A utilitarian or deontological starting point?
Holy Scripture as source for ethics
Christ and our humanness
Gleanings from the history of Christian ethics
Considering this material to be an immensely helpful contribution to the ongoing discussion, we offer our translation of Foundations of Christian Ethics, chapter 2: “What Is Distinctive About Christian Ethics.”
If you’d like further incentive to engage this material, consider these section headings in this chapter:
Narrow and broad morality
“Beyond the ordinary”
Does Christian ethics deal only with Christian motivation?
With universal and Christian arguments
A definition of Christian ethics
Here you will find a substantive, competent, and classically Reformed analysis of one of the issues lying at the heart of the current NL2K discussion. It deserves—and will repay—careful study and reflection.