The Use of the New Testament for Social Ethics

Journal of Religious Ethics 15 (2):225 - 260 (1987)
The New Testament provides essential and pertinent social content, character formation, and motivation for social ethics. Continuity with the Old Testament, the reevaluation of social status, and the defeat of the principalities and powers furnish a social framework. Although not providing a social program, it informs conceptions which are basic to any social ethic, particularly those of history, human nature, justice, and basic social goals. The concrete commands which appear to belie its radical message are not to be set aside as non-canonical but, in a tension similar to that between absolute and relative natural law, to be interpreted as having a subordinate and limited function of ensuring respon- sibility in social relationships as those particular aspects of creation are renewed. l.
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