The way in which ethics and faith should stand in relation to each other has been a notoriously disputed issue among Christian thinkers. That it is necessary for them to stand in relation, however, is blatantly obvious in regard to even the simplest biblical knowledge, since it clearly states a monotheistic conception of God as Creator, Ruler and Judge (Stevenson & Haberman, 1998:69). Although there are many uncertainties regarding the interpretation of certain aspects of Christianity, the position is majorly held among Christians that a combination these aspects give a guide to how life should be lived with regards to morality (Stevenson & Haberman, 1998:85). A Christian perspective on ethics thus seems, on the face of it, to be a form of supernaturalism, since it is concerned with a belief in an otherworldly realm (Du Toit, J., Heyns, M. & Loubser, 2013:25)- and not only the totality of the natural world- in supplying answers with reference to aspects of ontology, epistemology and ethics. There has, however, been some strong criticism of Christianity as supernaturalism and some such as Gentsler have even continued to state that Christianity cannot be described in terms of supernaturalism at all. Shortly, those for Christianity as supernaturalism have tended to form a religious argument and those opposed mainly form their criticisms on the rational interpretation of the theory- stating its various uncertainties and supposed contradictions. 2.2. Problem statement
Since there is such a strong criticism against supernaturalism as Christian ethical theory, the question must be begged if supernaturalism is a valid theory for the necessary relationship between Christianity and ethics? 2.3.
Supernaturalism is the correct (and probably only) theory for indicating the relationship between Christianity and ethics since it has the accurate view regarding God as He has revealed Himself to us.
Conceptualizing a Christian view on ethics in terms of supernaturalism
In order to postulate supernaturalism as an ethical theory for Christianity, there must first be expanded on what such a theory consists of. According to Stevenson & Haberman (1998:76) The Bible summarizes what is wrong with mankind as follows: sin is inherent to our earthly natures, we misuse our God-given free-will, and we choose evil over good and thus disrupt our relationship with God with the prideful assertion of our will against His. It is crucial to highlight that there is no law Christians can obey to rectify this problem by themselves (Romans 3:22). It is God’s forgiveness that ensures their redemption, and this they obtain by believing in God and being in relationship with Him. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is key to God’s forgiveness (Stevenson & Haberman, 1998:81) The ensuing belief in and relationship with God results in an adopting of ethical norms that are thus in line with His will. As to how these ethical norms are deduced by Christians, however, the answer is not precise.
Geisler (2010:123) claims that there are two ways in which God reveals what is right- general revelation (in nature) and special revelation (revealed in scripture). It is important to realise that general revelation is what Paul (Romans 2.15) refers to as “that what the law requires is written on their hearts”- thus indicating that general revelation is innate to mankind (even to nonbelievers).
Apart from these, Gensler (2011:28) and Stevenson & Haberman (1998:85) claim that these morals are also deduced through the worship and sacraments of the Church, prayer, and God-given reason. Though these methods of deducing God’s will vary slightly, their message and ethics generally stay the same- and they do not discredit the theory in any way. In practice Christians also tend to vary in the way they deduce God’s will, although the general...
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