Hiemstra, Stephen W. Living in Christ: Character, Community, and Leadership. Centreville, Virginia: T2pneuma, 2020.
Our journey in Christian ethics starts with God in whose image we are created. Creation begins with birth and continues as we mature. Our character matures, shaped by the example of Christ under the mentorship of the Holy Spirit through the family and the church. Christian leaders reach full maturity once they able to mentor others—we are blessed to be a blessing.
Living in Christ focuses on explaining, not justifying, Christian ethics. At a time and in a place where people scoff at developing a theological understanding of their faith and refuse to teach Christian morality, ethics is almost a lost art. At the heart of the ethical dilemma is a tension between theological principles that can only be resolved the guidance of the Holy Spirit. For example, how do you practice forgiveness for sinners who refuse to confess their sin and force you to bear its consequences? In this context, ethics is less a philosophical discipline that a recognition of our own limitations as Christians and the need for divine intervention.
Ethical thought and action always involve interpretation under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is thus ironic that a book on Christian living should have an outward focus on God rather than an inward focus on what to do and not do. This interpretative element colors how we view character formation, the community of faith, leadership, and the many special issues that arise in daily life.
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