Are Ordinary Christians Ethical?
Socrates’ Ethical Dilemma & the Mere Christian
by Graeme Hunter
Are ordinary Christians ethical? It partly depends on whom you mean by ordinary Christians. And the way I use the term is growing less common, since I neither mean “Christian” as a term of abuse nor “ordinary” as a term of praise. By “ordinary Christians” I mean people who in earlier times would have described themselves as “God-fearing” or perhaps “Bible believing”; the term signifies men and women who identify right conduct with submission to the will of God. Whether or not such people are statistically ordinary is of no concern. They are ordinary in the sense of being theologically unremarkable; they are the ones the New Testament describes as “salt of the earth,” whom Dryden says “plod on to glory,” in contrast to theological highflyers, who so often wing toward self-destruction.
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Graeme Hunter is a contributing editor to Touchstone and Research Professor of Philosophy at Dominican University College in Ottawa. He is the author of Radical Protestantism in Spinoza's Thought (Ashgate).
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