Inaugural Lecture - Center for Classical Theology - REGISTER
Skip to content
sky (1)

Why Did I Write My New Book on Christian Ethics?

I wrote my new book Christian Ethics: An Introduction to Biblical Moral Reasoning (Crossway, 2018) for Christians who want to understand what the Bible teaches about how to obey God faithfully in their daily lives. I hope the book will be useful not only for college and seminary students who take classes in Christian ethics, but also for all other Christians who seek, before God, to be “filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,” with the result that they will live “in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increas­ing in the knowledge of God” (Col. 1:9–10).

But the book also contains a challenge. I am concerned that teaching about ethics has been neglected in many evangelical churches today—partly because the issues seem complex, partly because pastors do not want to be accused of sounding “legalistic,” and partly because the surrounding non-Christian culture is hostile to Christian moral values, so anyone who teaches biblical ethics is likely to be criticized by unbelievers. Therefore, I hope this book will help to meet a need among Christians today for more biblical ethical understanding. And I hope the book will challenge Christians to live lives of personal holiness in the midst of a secular culture.

This book is similar in its method to my earlier book Systematic Theology because both books seek to explain “what the whole Bible teaches” about various specific top­ics. However, Systematic Theology dealt with theological topics such as the Trinity, the person of Christ, the atonement, and salvation, while this book deals with ethical top­ics such as lying and telling the truth, war, abortion, euthanasia, racial discrimination, divorce and remarriage, homosexuality, stewardship of money, wise use of the environ­ment, and many other topics. I hope this book will help to meet a need among Christians today for more biblical ethical understanding. And I hope the book will challenge Christians to live lives of personal holiness in the midst of a secular culture. Click To Tweet

I hope it will be useful for all Christians who seek to experience the great blessing of God that comes from walking daily in paths of obedience, knowing more of the joy of God’s pres­ence, and experiencing his favor on our lives.

Here is an overview of the book:


Chapter 1: Introduction to Christian ethics

Chapter 2: The Ultimate Basis for Ethics: The Moral Character of God

Chapter 3: The Bible: Our Source of Ethical Standards

Chapter 4: The Goal of Ethics: A Life Lived for the Glory of God

Chapter 5: The Joys and Blessings of Obedience to God and the Harmful Consequences of Sin

Chapter 6: How to Know God’s Will

Chapter 7: Christians Will Never Have To Choose the “Lesser Sin”

Chapter 8: How should Christians use the Old Testament for ethical guidance?

PART 2: PROTECTING GOD’S HONOR: “You shall have no other gods before me.”

Chapter 9: No Other Gods

Chapter 10: No Carved Images

Chapter 11: Purity of Speech

Chapter 12: Lying and Telling the Truth

Chapter 13: The Sabbath Commandment

PART 3: PROTECTING HUMAN AUTHORITY: “Honor your father and  your mother.”

Chapter 14: Authority in the Family

Chapter 15: Equality and Leadership in Marriage

Chapter 16: Civil Government

Chapter 17: Other Authorities

PART 4: PROTECTING LIFE: “You shall not murder.”

Chapter 18: Capital Punishment

Chapter 19: War

Chapter 20: Self-defense

Chapter 21: Abortion

Chapter 22: Euthanasia

Chapter 23: Suicide

Chapter 24: Aging and Death

Chapter 25: Racial Discrimination

Chapter 26: Health

Chapter 27: Alcohol and Drugs

PART 5: PROTECTING MARRIAGE: “You shall not commit adultery.”

Chapter 28: Marriage

Chapter 29: Birth Control

Chapter 30: Infertility, Reproductive Technology, and Adoption

Chapter 31: Pornography

Chapter 32: Divorce and Remarriage

Chapter 33: Homosexuality and Transgenderism

PART 6: PROTECTING PROPERTY: “You shall not steal.”

Chapter 34: Property: The Goodness and Necessity of Private Ownership of Property

Chapter 35: Work, Rest, Vacations, and Retirement

Chapter 36: Increasing Prosperity: Is More Prosperity a Good Thing?

Chapter 37: Wealth and Poverty

Chapter 38: Personal Stewardship

Chapter 39: Borrowing, Lending, and the Question of Debt

Chapter 40: Business Ethics

Chapter 41: Stewardship of the Environment

PART 7: PROTECTING PURITY OF HEART: “You shall not covet.”

Chapter 42: Purity of Heart

Wayne Grudem

Wayne Grudem (PhD, University of Cambridge; DD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is research professor of theology and biblical studies at Phoenix Seminary, having previously taught for 20 years at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is a former president of the Evangelical Theological Society, a member of the Translation Oversight Committee for the English Standard Version of the Bible, the general editor of the ESV Study Bible, and has published over 20 books.

Back to Top