November 19, 15
Rebooting the Matrix of Christian Ethics
I really enjoyed reading some of the philosophical ideas of Aristotle and Plato. It is incredible how they were so enlightened and were able to have insight into society and life. I think it’s a great time for Christian ethics to be rebooted and given a jump-start because in so many churches ethics don’t play a major role in decisions, elevation or in church politics. I know first hand. The Matrix of Christian Ethics: Integrating Philosophy and Moral Theology in a Postmodern Context has a lot of ideas about how we can reboot the Matrix of so many different views on ethics in our context. And in American churches we really need to do some inventory. As Nullens and Michener states, “Today North America is certainly no exception to this, even with a significant evangelical, fundamentalist population. Moral crises within and without the church are prolific. The gap between authentic Christian worldviews and practices and those of modern Western culture seems to be widening.” As I began to contemplate some of the views of our modern day televangelist and to have seen how many of them have fallen, it makes you wonder if scripture is playing a big role in their life or is our Western culture dictating to them. And this is where I believe Christian ethics must come into play.
It is important to understand what is important in our faith and what is not important. And I think this is where people get off at in the church the lack of an ethic that is rooted in faith, scripture and a wholesome relationship with God. Christian ethics is a discipline that occurs a posteriori to our confession of faith. It is a disciplined reflection, processing what we believe we have received from God’s commands and guidance through the Spirit, in Scripture, and in the context of the church community.
It goes further that that too because our cultural context has a lot to do with ethics as well.
A quadrilateral matrix of values, norms, virtues, and purposes will be of particular importance for the development of our specific approach to Christian ethics. And I think the development of our specific approach to Christian ethics is really predicated on our cultural context of our church and our community. This is what to me makes up this Matrix of Christian Ethics. And in line with this I think the Matrix needs to be “rebooted” in other words it needs to revive again. I believe we can have differences when it comes to Ethics but we should all be biblically based when it’s all said and done. For instance family values differ from one family to another. How a person is raised will be key to how they act and participate in society. What my family taught me might be seen as low class to people who may have more money and have been exposed to more things. But that’s where I came from. But it is not an excuse to have bad ethics. Rebooting the Matrix of Christian Ethics is reviving it by learning it and we can all do that. And as children of God we should live by higher standards and principles because we are the children of God. I think we need to learn from everything and not over do one thing or another. I like what Aristotle said about moderation in life, “Typical of Aristotle’s ethical theory is the concept of the “mean” (the middle)-The art or moderation. As we see in all aspects of nature, it is always important to seek a delicate balance. When anything is taken to extremes, it goes wrong.”
 Patrick Mullens & Ronald T. Michener, The Matrix of Christian Ethics: Integrating Philosophy and Moral Theology in a Postmodern Context (Colorado Springs: Paternoster Publishing, 2010), 29.
 Ibid., 11.
 Ibid., 12.
 Ibid., 121.