Mere Morality: What God Expects from Ordinary People

Mere Morality What God Expects from Ordinary People Is there a morality that shows us how to survive as a humane community Can we know what God expects of the human family Is there a morality for ordinary people In this book the author of Sex for Chri

  • Title: Mere Morality: What God Expects from Ordinary People
  • Author: Lewis B. Smedes
  • ISBN: 9780802802576
  • Page: 298
  • Format: Paperback
  • Is there a morality that shows us how to survive as a humane community Can we know what God expects of the human family Is there a morality for ordinary people In this book, the author of Sex for Christians and Love within Limits explores the way to moral sanity amid the confusions and crises of contemporary life We do not, says Smedes, have a moral map to mark out thIs there a morality that shows us how to survive as a humane community Can we know what God expects of the human family Is there a morality for ordinary people In this book, the author of Sex for Christians and Love within Limits explores the way to moral sanity amid the confusions and crises of contemporary life We do not, says Smedes, have a moral map to mark out the details of our route in advance, but neither are we left to grope and improvise at every step.The focus of Smedes s study is the commandments in particular those five of the Ten Commandments which call us to respect other persons Honor your father and mother You shall not kill You shall not commit adultery You shall not steal You shall not bear false witness Each of these commandments pinpoints the moral nucleus of one sector of life in community family, marriage, property, communication, and the preservation of life itself.Using these commandments as a basis, Smedes asks three questions What does God command us to do Why does he command this And how can we obey this in the ambiguities and conflicts of real life Smedes answers the first question by extracting the simple meaning of the commands He probes answers to the second question why on the premise that a reasonable Creator commands his creatures only to be what they are and to act in ways that fit their nature as human beings in community Moral norms are not alien, claims Smedes, they conform to our being It is in answering how to obey these commandments in ordinary life that Smedes moves from the ancient words at Sinai to the troubled twentieth century context in which we live This is not always an easy task The commandment may signal a clear moral direction, but determining whether and how its absolute fits into each new situation will require patient common sense, tough minded reason, and devout faith Such painful struggles, for which Smedes provides eloquent guidance are at the core of responsible moral living.

    One thought on “Mere Morality: What God Expects from Ordinary People”

    1. The title of this book is an echo of CS Lewis' 'Mere Christianity'. Smedes attempts an ethics for the comman person by working through the second table of the ten commandments. For those unfamiliar, these are the horizontal or human-to-human commandments found in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5. Smedes' Calvinistic premise is that these commands cover every relational issue that humans face, and so the chapters quite creatively raise a fascinating array of issues with each commandment. Smedes is a m [...]

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