Ethics and Christian apologetics in College

Discussion in 'Defending the Faith' started by monoergon, Mar 4, 2015.

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  1. monoergon

    monoergon Puritan Board Freshman

    Hello brothers,
    I'll be taking Ethics in college. Students from various courses will be taking it. I always feel I have a responsibility to defend my faith in class if it so happens that a certain debate might need my input.

    So, I would like to receive advice and references to articles that refute common objections against Christian ethics.

  2. aadebayo

    aadebayo Puritan Board Freshman

    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
  3. raydixon9

    raydixon9 Puritan Board Freshman

    At there is an excellent section on answering common questions.
  4. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    It is highly specialized and technical, but I recommend Moreland and Craig's Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview. Also read Moreland's Kingdom Triangle and listen to as many Moreland audio you can find.

    Davis is fine. I used him in my ethics course in seminary. I also recommend Feinberg's text on ethics. (Yes, he is Dispensational and he has a few weak conclusions, but he meticulously works through a lot of hard issues).

    While we all have problems with Geisler's arminianism, his stuff on Philosophy of Religion is pretty good and covers all the basics.
  5. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Also kind of anticipate what topics will be addressed. I imagine sodomy-rights will be addressed, given that such is the weapon the Power State is using to silence (and eventually, FEMA camp Christians with). Anything related to pluralism or relativism will be addressed. I would also expect some watered-down form of postmodernism (maybe; American academics aren't as enamored with it today as they were a decade ago).
  6. Toasty

    Toasty Puritan Board Sophomore

    Since you are going to take an ethics course, it is very likely that you will read some essays defending the pro-choice position on abortion. Judith Jarvis Thomson's essay in defense of abortion is a famous work which was been widely read. You might read other pro-choice authors such as Boonin and Mary Anne Warren.

    To help you to refute to the pro-choice position, I would recommend reading the following books:
    The Case for Life: Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture: Scott Klusendorf: 9781433503207: Books

    Here are some good books about ethics from a Christian perspective:

    Ethics for a Brave New World, Second Edition (Updated and Expanded) - Kindle edition by John S. Feinberg, Paul D. Feinberg. Religion & Spirituality Kindle eBooks @

    Koukl's book refuting relativism is excellent:
  7. Toasty

    Toasty Puritan Board Sophomore

    Will the class deal with metaethics, ethical theory, and certain ethical issues?
  8. jwithnell

    jwithnell Moderator Staff Member

    It would be helpful to know the kind of class you are anticipating.

    A standard approach would have you reading works by folks like Aristotle, Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mills, etc. You would be expected to be able to articulate how a particular philosopher would answer a particular question. While we should always be ready to give an answer for the hope that is within us, answering every question with: "well the Bible says," won't get you very far. Now I understand, most philosophy classes will have more far-ranging discussions, but you'll need to be able to answer from within the framework established by ideas as they were developed by philosophers over time.

    If that's the case, Francis Schaeffer's books would give you some helpful, Christian background at a layman's level while Cornelius Van Til's works would give you the academic background. (He apparently had a syllabus for a seminary class on the history of philosophy that I've thought would be quite helpful, but have never seen available.)
  9. monoergon

    monoergon Puritan Board Freshman

    As of now, I'm not sure about the topics because it will begin next week. Since several courses take this ethics class, it shouldn't be so advanced as the ethics subject within the Philosophy course.
  10. monoergon

    monoergon Puritan Board Freshman

    Thank you all for the sources. They are great. I'll anticipate the debates on abortion and relativism, for now.
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    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

  12. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

  13. aadebayo

    aadebayo Puritan Board Freshman

    These are the topics covered in my earlier post on this thread.

    1. Dimensions of Decision Making
    • Cases and Issues
    • Biblical Authority
    • Empirical and Deliberative Elements
    • Cases of Conflicting Obligation
    • Christian Ethics and Law in a Pluralistic Society

    2. Contraception
    • From Ancient Times to Present
    • Modern Methods of Contraception
    • Moral Dimensions of Contraception
    • Related Issues

    3. Reproductive Technologies
    • Arificial Insemination
    • Surrogate Mothers: Wombs for Rent
    • Sewx Selection
    • In Vitro Fertilization

    4. Divorce and Remarriage
    • Historical Trends
    • The Biblical Data
    • Summary and Conclusions

    5. Homosexuality
    • Historical and Anthropological Perspectives
    • Medical Aspects
    • The Witness of Scripture
    • Theological and Pastoral Issues
    • Homosexuality and the Law

    6. Abortion
    • Historical and Legal Background
    • Medical Aspects
    • The Psychological Dimension
    • Biblical, Theological, and Ethical Considerations

    7. Infanticide and Euthanasia
    • Infanticide
    • Death, Dying, and Euthanasia

    8. Capital Punishment
    • History and the Law
    • The Teachings of Scripture
    • Philosophical and Pragmatic Considerations

    9. Civil Disobedience and Revolution
    • Civil Disobedience
    • Revolution and the Christian Conscience

    10. War and Peace
    • War in Human History
    • The Morality of War: The Pre-Atomic Era
    • War and Peace in a Nuclear Age

    11. Environmental Ethics: History, Issues, and Theology
    • Historical Perspectives on the Environmental Movement
    • Current Environmental Concerns
    • Biblical Foundations of Environmental Ethics

    12. The Genetic Revolution
    • Historical Background
    • The Issues and the Terminology
    • Theological and Ethical Framework
    • Reflections on the Issues
  14. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    I second the recommendation of Rae. I am reading the book he co-authored with Moreland and it is powerful. I also recommend--as Bahnsen recommended--MacIntyre's A Short History of Ethics. I disagree with his communitarianism and he misreads the Reformers badly, but it is a fine work aside from that.
  15. jwright82

    jwright82 Puritan Board Senior

    Van Til put to book what I take to be a class sylibus on Christian ethics. When i get home tonight I will find the exact name. But i will warn you that it is a big picture view of ethics and doesn't deal with specific issues but if you take the general principles and apply them to specific issues it might be helpful.
  16. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Christian Theistic Ethics. It's actually quite perceptive in many places because he talks about the summum bonum.
  17. jwright82

    jwright82 Puritan Board Senior

    Thank you. Thats it.
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