Ethical Decision Making Ethical Decisions

1533 Words7 Pages
When making ethical decisions we as Christians use different sources to help us in deciding how we should respond to a given situation while staying true to our Christian faith and its values. The scholar Richard Hays identified these sources for ethical decision-making into four areas: Scripture, tradition, reason and experience. Neither of these is used in isolation, but work together to help us decide what would be ethically right to lead the “good life” and proclaim the Kingdom of God. Tradition refers to our understanding of our faith community, why we exist and how we live our lives, an understanding and practise which is demonstrated in worship, teaching, reflection and change. We also draw on our past experiences and power of reasoning to help in our decision making, however it is to Scripture that we look for guidance and authority. The bible is referred to as a collection of writings that shapes the church’s identity. (Messer, 2006, p. 18) The books, referred to as the Canon of Scripture, were chosen by the church as divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit. Karl Barth is said to have referred to scripture as: “A unique witness to God’s revelation of himself in Jesus Christ, and in it we hear the word of God...” (Messer, 2006, p. 21) The scholar Richard Hays, in referring to scripture said in it we find rules, such as the Ten Commandments, but we also find principles, paradigms and a symbolic world. (Messer, 2006, p. 21) Principles are referred to as
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