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The Christian Love Ethic

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The Christian Love Ethic

by Dr. Norman L. Geisler

 

Jesus summarized our entire moral duty in two commands: Love God and love others (Mat. 22:37-40).  Taking these words seriously, this book constructs the whole Christian Ethic on life-and-death issues in terms of these commands.  This book was first published in 1973 as The Christian Ethic of Love and has become difficult to find in print.  It has been completely revised by Dr. Geisler in 2012 and is available here as a 100-page PDF eBook.

This is available here only as a PDF file at this time.  This is not a printed (paper) book.  It is an electronic book.

 

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1 – LOVE: THE MORAL ABSOLUTE 9

THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF DENYING ABSOLUTES 9

AFFIRMING AND DEFENDING MORAL ABSOLUTES 11

COMMON MISUNDERSTANDINGS OF MORAL RELATIVISTS 14

CONCLUDING COMMENTS 15

Chapter 2 – GOD: THE NATURE OF ABSOLUTE LOVE 16

THE SOURCES OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD AS LOVE 16

THE NATURE OF GOD AS LOVE 17

THE RELATION OF WRATH TO GOD’S LOVE 19

SOME IMPLICATIONS OF GOD’S LOVE 22

Chapter 3 – LOVING ON TWO LEVELS 23

THE TWO GREAT COMMANDMENTS 23

CONFLICT BETWEEN THE TWO GREAT COMMANDMENTS 25

RESOLVING THE CONFLICT BETWEEN THE TWO LEVELS OF LOVE 27 IN SUMMATION 28

Chapter 4 – LOVING OTHERS AND ONE’S SELF 29

LOVING OTHERS COMPREHENSIVELY 29

LOVING OTHERS COMPLETELY 32

LOVING ONE’S SELF CORRECTLY 33 SUMMARY 35

Chapter 5 – LAWS: PUTTING LOVE INTO WORDS 36

LOVE IN THE LAW OF MOSES 36

LAW AND LOVE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT 38

THE RELATION OF LAW AND LOVE 40

A FINAL THOUGHT 42

Chapter 6 – CHRIST: PUTTING LOVE INTO LIFE 43

CHRIST: THE PERFECTION OF THE LAW 43

CHRIST: THE BELIEVER’S PATTERN 46

SUMMING IT UP 48

Chapter 7 – THE ALTERNATIVES OF LOVE 49

THE FIRST WAY: THERE IS ONLYONE ABSOLUTE DUTY OF LOVE 50

THE SECOND WAY: THERE IS ALWAYS A THIRD ALTERNATIVE FOR LOVE 52

THIRD WAY: PERFORMING THE LEAST NON-LOVING ACT 55

THE FOURTH WAY: DO THE MOST LOVING THING, SUBORDINATING THE LOWER LAWS OF LOVE TO THE HIGHER ONES 57

A BRIEF SUMMARY 58

Chapter 8 – THE CONFLICTS OF LOVE 60 LOVE FOR GOD VS. LOVE FOR OTHER HUMANS 60

LIFE-SAVING VS. TRUTH TELLING 61 LOVE FOR PERSONS VS. LOVE FOR THINGS 63

LOVE FOR MANY PERSONS VS. LOVE FOR FEW PERSONS 64

LOVE FOR THE UNBORN VS. RIGHTS OF THE MOTHER 65

IN SUMMATION 66

Chapter 9 – LOVE AND OTHER MORAL DUTIES 68

GOD IS ABSOLUTELY ONE IN ESSENCE 68

GOD HAS MANY MORAL ATTRIBUTES 68

HOW ARE DIFFERENT MORAL ATTRIBUTES COMPATIBLE? 68

Love and Murder 69

Love and Truth 70

Love and Justice 70

Love and Stealing 70

Love and Jealousy 71

Love and Adultery 71

Love and Coveting 71

A FINAL WORD 72

Chapter 10 – THE WEIGHTIER MATTERS OF LOVE 73

GREATER AND LESSER GOODS 73

WEIGHING THE ALTERNATIVES FOR LOVE 76

THE ROLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT 78

CONCLUDING COMMENTS 79

Chapter 11 – LOVE AND LIFE-TAKING 80

LOVE NEVER DEMANDS LIFE-TAKING AS SUCH 80

LOVE AND SUICIDE 81 LOVE AND THE ULTIMATE SACRICE 83

LOVE AND THE UNBORN 83 LOVE AND LITTLE CHILDREN 83

LOVE AND THE HANDICAPPED 84 LOVE AND THE ELDERLY 84

LOVE AND THE TERMNALLY ILL 85

LOVE AND THE UNRESCUABLE 86

LOVE AND ANIMAL RIGHTS 87

LOVE AND ASSSTED SUICIDE 88

LOVE AND SACRIFICING ONE’S LIFE FOR OTHERS 88

LOVE AND CAPITAL PUNISHMENT 89

SOME FINAL THOUGHTS 91

Chapter 12 – LOVE AND WAR 92

LOVE AND THE COMMAND OF ONE’S GOVERNMENT 92

LOVE AND THE COMMAND OF JESUS NOT TO RESIST EVIL 94

LOVE AND A JUST WAR 99

LOVE AND A PREMEPTIVE STRIKE 102

SOME FINAL THOUGHTS 103

SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY 104

 

 

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