Tag Archives: Jim Wallis

Five themes in Christian humanism (III)

“Dante and His Poem,” Domenico di Michelino (1417-1491); wikipedia, public domain

Continued from part II

4. Grace and virtues (the Christian moral life and Christian social ethics)

Other than dissenters such as Tertullian, the early church was happy to absorb and adapt much of the non-Christian knowledge of the time (classical philosophy). This included knowledge in the realm of ethics and politics (e.g. Aristotle’s Ethics – see e.g. Robert Louis Wilken, Spirit of Early Christian Thought). Thus the substance of Aristotelian virtue ethics was absorbed into Christian ethics, culminating in Aquinas’s Summa.

More recently, Protestant as well as Catholic readers of Elizabeth Anscombe, Alasdair MacIntyre, and other modern Christian virtue ethicists have also been willing to consider the older Christianized classical virtue ethics tradition as important and helpful for today. However, there is still a tension between that tradition and the Augustinian understanding of the primacy of grace (given the extreme effects of the Fall) in human moral life. Again Christian humanism has worked to sustain a synthesis in this tension of virtue and grace, to various degrees in various phases of the tradition.

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Is “social justice” a Christian code-word for “communism and Nazism”? Fox News’s Glenn Beck says so, and evangelical leaders are striking back

Fox News personality Glenn Beck has told his viewers to leave Christian churches that preach social justice. Now evangelical leaders are striking back, with Jim Wallis leading the way.

But Jerry Falwell Jr. is backing up Beck, who says that “social justice” in church rhetoric is to be considered a code-word and cover-up for “communism and Nazism.” Read about it here or here.

What do you think? Is there a place in the preaching and life of the church for social justice? Is correcting social inequities part of the “good news” of the gospel?