Reformed Ethics

Vol. 5 No. 2 / Oct 2019


EDITORIAL: CHRIST’S FOURFOLD DECLARATION OF AUTHORITY

Eric Kayayan - in Vol. 5 No. 2 / Oct 2019
In spite of the emphasis in evangelical circles on Christ’s missionary mandate to his disciples in Matthew 28, the bond between the cosmic authority asserted in verse 18 and the church, to which the mission is entrusted in verses 19–20, is not always acknowledged as it should be. Misunderstanding or lack of precision about this point runs the risk of distorting the reason for the missionary mandate, namely by displacing it from its christological focus. We will clarify the precise nature of the

INTERPERSONAL FORGIVENESS AS A GOSPEL STANDARD

Douwe J. Steensma - in Vol. 5 No. 2 / Oct 2019
Should a Christian forgive seventy-seven times? Must the sinner first repent before he can be granted forgiveness? Is forgiveness possible if the sinner does not accept the gift of forgiveness? This article focuses on the gift of forgiveness one person offers another from the point of view of forgiveness as a theological, social, and ethical norm. Starting with the reality of people’s low expectation of forgiveness, the essay moves on to evaluate the nature, origin, and limits of forgiveness...

ISLAM AND WOMEN

Christine Schirrmacher - in Vol. 5 No. 2 / Oct 2019
Little can be said about all women in Islam, as they live in widely varied circumstances. Still, some guidelines apply to a vast majority of Muslim women today because civil law follows, by and large, the regulations of sharia law in most Arab countries and because the majority of Muslim women are living in traditional settings. This article surveys several of these fundamental guidelines without claiming to describe the actual living conditions of all Muslim women. It will consider the status..

HEALING THE WOUNDS OF TRAUMA AND ABUSE

Diane Langberg - in Vol. 5 No. 2 / Oct 2019
The purpose of this article is to bring an understanding of trauma and abuse, of the different types of abuse that may occur, of their prevalence in the world and in the church, and of their effects on a life. It is critical to understand the damage of abuse in order to serve victims well. Failure to know what trauma does to humans and how to respond to victims results in doing further damage to a vulnerable human. We will look at three components of healing that are both basic and easily used..

WOMEN, SEX, AND A QUESTION OF DOUBLE STANDARDS

Kathleen Nielson - in Vol. 5 No. 2 / Oct 2019
This article examines the subject of women and extramarital sex as addressed in Old Testament law—and ultimately by Jesus himself. It is a revised excerpt from a book that aims to show God’s good care and purpose for his female image-bearers from beginning to end of the Bible’s story (Women and God, 2018). A focus on Deuteronomy 22:13–30 shows that women are not only held equally responsible for sexual sin but also carefully protected, especially in cases of mistreatment and sexual abuse. ...

“HOW FIRM A FOUNDATION” AND THE WESTMINSTER CONFESSION OF FAITH

K. Scott Oliphint - in Vol. 5 No. 2 / Oct 2019
The Protestant and Reformed view of Scripture over against the Roman Catholic view is that Scripture attests its own authority. This view does not, however, mean that there are no arguments available that point to Scripture’s self-attesting authority. The Westminster Confession of Faith affirms in chapter 1, section 4, that Scripture is its own foundation, then in the following section gives a helpful list of arguments that provide useful indications of Scripture’s divine authority. ...

BEZA’S PASTORAL CALLING: COMBAT, ENCOURAGEMENT, AND DUTY

Ottavio Palombaro - in Vol. 5 No. 2 / Oct 2019
Too often in current debates of Reformed theology the focus seems to be solely upon great figures at the expense of their successors. Theodore Beza should have his proper place in the spread of Calvinism. Beyond the constant struggles between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, Beza saw greater battles between God and the forces of darkness. In this context, he developed the Calvinist doctrine of political resistance. Far from being a dry Scholastic systematizer, Beza supported a pastoral ...

THE VALUE OF MARSHALL’S GOSPEL MYSTERY OF SANCTIFICATION

T. Michael Christ - in Vol. 5 No. 2 / Oct 2019
Pastors and theologians alike have praised Walter Marshall’s Gospel Mystery of Sanctification for its value in articulating a theology of sanctification. John Murray thought it to be “the most important book on sanctification ever written,” yet very little scholarly attention has been given to what Marshall actually says. This article summarizes his historical context and explains four aspects of his approach to sanctification that make his work particularly useful within the Reformed tradition.

ON EARTH: RELATIONAL ANTHROPOCENTRICISM IN CREATION CARE

Alessandro Piccirillo - in Vol. 5 No. 2 / Oct 2019
In evaluating environmental ethics in Western thought, the definitions and arguments of greatest importance come from consequential, deontological, and ecocentric approaches. These approaches have strengths and weaknesses. This article aims at addressing the issues at stake by introducing the concept of relational anthropocentrism based on multiperspectivalism.

THE RELEVANCE OF CALVIN’S VIEW OF WORK AND CALLING TO CHRISTIANS IN NEWLY INDUSTRIALIZED COUNTRIES

Matthew Ebenezer - in Vol. 5 No. 2 / Oct 2019
In the context of the economies of Newly Industrialized Countries, this article surveys the understanding of work in Islam and Hinduism and contrasts them with John Calvin’s notion of work and calling. The author analyzes Islamic traditions, classic Hindu texts, and Calvin’s Institutes and Commentaries. While Islam puts a premium on religious work, and Hinduism defines work in light of its caste system, in a Reformed worldview, God values all types of work, and workers are God’s stewards. ...

CORRUPTION, BRIBERY, AFRICAN CONCEPTS OF GOD, AND THE GOSPEL

PHILLIPUS J. (FLIP) BUYS - in Vol. 5 No. 2 / Oct 2019
Corruption and bribery have become a disastrous problem in SubSaharan Africa. A survey of the regular reports of Transparency International reveals how this societal ill has reached pandemic proportions. Although several governments and organizations talk a lot about corruption and appoint special commissions to investigate it, there is a widespread perception that so far only a few branches of the huge tree of corruption and bribery have been lopped off and very little has been done to root out

REFORMED BUSINESS ETHICS—A NEW APPROACH TO HOW ORGANIZATIONS CAN FLOURISH

Christopher Steed - in Vol. 5 No. 2 / Oct 2019
In light of the workplace crisis and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, this article aims to provide perspectives on how organizations can flourish. Reformed business ethics (e.g., John Calvin and Abraham Kuyper), with its notions of work ethics, common grace, and sphere sovereignty is uniquely positioned to address these concerns. The author develops an approach to wise leadership that strives not only for quantitative and financial success but also for qualitative values—organizations that ...

INTERVIEW WITH CHRISTOPHER YUAN

Peter A. Lillback - in Vol. 5 No. 2 / Oct 2019

ELIZABETH AGNEW COCHRAN. PROTESTANT VIRTUE AND STOIC ETHICS

David Hunsicker - in Vol. 5 No. 2 / Oct 2019