36. Christian Theology: Ethics

  1. Stephen Westerholm
  1. Gilbert Meilaender

Published Online: 20 APR 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444395778.ch36

The Blackwell Companion to Paul

The Blackwell Companion to Paul

How to Cite

Meilaender, G. (2011) Christian Theology: Ethics, in The Blackwell Companion to Paul (ed S. Westerholm), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444395778.ch36

Editor Information

  1. McMaster University, Canada

Author Information

  1. Valparaiso University, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 APR 2011
  2. Published Print: 29 APR 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405188449

Online ISBN: 9781444395778



  • Christian theology - and ethics;
  • writings of Paul, influencing our understanding of ethics - provisional understanding of what we mean by ethics;
  • Lewis's engaging, if homely, dressed up in sophisticated language - of theological and philosophical ethics;
  • ethical reflection, focusing on our doing and our being - what is good for human beings, what we must do to flourish and be fulfilled;
  • teleological ethics, and classical ethics - teleological in character, searching for the good life – Aristotle's eudaimonia, that all human beings seek;
  • reservation of salvation to the future - consistent feature of Paul's teaching;
  • instructive as MacIntyre's threefold scheme - helpful as it is for seeing, continuing place of teleological considerations in Christian ethics;
  • deontological ethics, and life in Christ - a matter of what one does than what one accomplishes, matter of acting rightly than realizing goals;
  • complexities and ambiguities in Paul's use of the language of law - evangelical imperatives rather than a pedagogical use of law;
  • life “in Christ,” interposing any theory - between believers and their Lord, as if getting the theory right could in itself offer assurance


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Teleological Ethics

  • Deontological Ethics

  • Agent-centered (Virtue) Ethics

  • Life “in Christ”

  • References