Join the Coffee and Life study group for an eight-week series on "Christian Ethics – A framework for understanding." The group will meet on Zoom on Tuesdays, 7-8pm, beginning on January 12 and concluding on March 2.
There are two basic approaches in Christian theology – biblical theology, which centers upon the perspective of a particular biblical author and his/her personal experience with God; and systematic theology, which addresses a broader perspective, usually from multiple biblical authors as well as developing church thought throughout the church’s history. Systematic theology strives to make sense of sometimes divergent ideas from different times and life situations. This study is a systematic approach that will hopefully get us closer to understanding how we make decisions about the right thing to do. In a more specific sense, it is a study about how we understand justice and how we should regard people who do not think the way we do in our decision making. A central motif throughout the study will be the different ways that we think about our Christian salvation. The study concludes with a discussion about the meaning and effect of the Christian doctrine of Atonement.
The following is a brief outline of the eight-week class:
1. A segue from Job
a) The centrality of justice in Judeo/Christian thought
b) Retribution theology vs. covenant theology
c) The great protestant – catholic debate
d) God’s nature revealed
2. An introduction to Christian ethics
a) A reading from Jack Pressau’s, I’m Saved, You’re Saved – Maybe
b) A framework for understanding justice
c) Is salvation relative?
d) A just God and a just people
3. Moral development
a) 1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I thought as a child
b) Kholberg’s stages of moral thinking
--- Me, Myself, and I
--- We, Ourselves, and Us
--- The World, the Universe, ALL
4. Solving dilemmas
a) My pest control guy
b) Heinz the pharmacist
c) The wisdom of King Solomon
5. More dilemmas to solve
a) “Can’t we all get along?”
6. The Atonement – Five ways to think about it
a) What happened?
b) What does it mean and to whom?
7. The Atonement continued
a) A translation into Christian ethics
b) Albert Schweitzer’s quest for the historical Jesus
8. “How should we then live?”
a) Bringing this all together
b) What world do we live in?