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A Theological Model for Holiness Ethics- Bonhoeffer, Webster, and Levinas

A Theological Model for Holiness Ethics- Bonhoeffer, Webster, and Levinas

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Published by Lawrenced
ABSTRACT

A Theological Model for Holiness Ethics: Bonhoeffer, Webster and Levinas

Dennis Lawrence


Through understanding modern applications of the historical “mark” of “holiness” of the Christian Church, Evangelical Christian disciples can find assurance that they are following God’s will, that their behaviour coincides with God’s revelation, and that they can advance the Church’s mission.
Drawing on insights gleaned from three thinkers, a model for the practical involvement of “holiness ethics” in the modern church is advanced. Each thinker offers a key component to the model. Dietrich Bonhoeffer offers a way of understanding the worlds that provides a positive environment for church work. John Webster offers an inclusive understanding of God’s holiness and how it flows to His human creatures. Emmanuel Levinas offers a manner of understanding how God’s holiness-carrying people can be certain of where they need to be active in the world. Combined, the insights comprise a model that is practical, encouraging, and highly descriptive of the activity of the historical and modern evangelical church.
One result of this thesis is to offer encouragement to active evangelical Christian Church participants. In clearly understanding their world, themselves, and their activity, Christians can be confident that they are doing the right activities toward the right people in the right place and at the right time. Greater certainty about their carrying holiness, which is rooted above them, can impel sounder Christian activity. Implications of the practical holiness ethics model are outlined in the final chapter.
ABSTRACT

A Theological Model for Holiness Ethics: Bonhoeffer, Webster and Levinas

Dennis Lawrence


Through understanding modern applications of the historical “mark” of “holiness” of the Christian Church, Evangelical Christian disciples can find assurance that they are following God’s will, that their behaviour coincides with God’s revelation, and that they can advance the Church’s mission.
Drawing on insights gleaned from three thinkers, a model for the practical involvement of “holiness ethics” in the modern church is advanced. Each thinker offers a key component to the model. Dietrich Bonhoeffer offers a way of understanding the worlds that provides a positive environment for church work. John Webster offers an inclusive understanding of God’s holiness and how it flows to His human creatures. Emmanuel Levinas offers a manner of understanding how God’s holiness-carrying people can be certain of where they need to be active in the world. Combined, the insights comprise a model that is practical, encouraging, and highly descriptive of the activity of the historical and modern evangelical church.
One result of this thesis is to offer encouragement to active evangelical Christian Church participants. In clearly understanding their world, themselves, and their activity, Christians can be confident that they are doing the right activities toward the right people in the right place and at the right time. Greater certainty about their carrying holiness, which is rooted above them, can impel sounder Christian activity. Implications of the practical holiness ethics model are outlined in the final chapter.

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Published by: Lawrenced on May 27, 2009
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Table of ContentsIntroduction 3 Chapter 1 Holiness Ethics in the Church environment 14Holiness- Difficult Subject for the Christian Church 14 Environment of the Canadian Christian Church 21Potential 25 Chapter 2Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Secular Holiness and Reality 32Holiness Insights Transcend the Decades 32Everyday Holiness 35Religion and Christianity Dont Mean the Same Thing 39Single Sphere Thinking 43 Implications 54Chapter 3John Webster: Practical Holiness 56Holistic Holiness 56The Holiness of Theology 58The Holiness of God 60The Holiness of the Church 62The Holiness of the Christian 66Carrying Holiness toward Others 71Chapter 4Emmanuel Levinas: Holiness in Relationality 72Truth and Holiness 72Plato, Western Philosophers, Truth and Holiness 73 Levinas, Truth and Holiness 77Holiness within Relationships 82 Chapter 5HearingJesus: Foundations of Holiness Ethics 87Three Authors and a Model of Holiness Ethics 87The Opportunities 91
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Bibliography102
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Introduction
The Road Not TakenTwo roads diverged in a yellow wood,And sorry I could not travel bothAnd be one traveler, long I stoodAnd looked down one as far as I couldTo where it bent in the undergrowth;Then took the other, as just as fair And having perhaps the better claim,Because it was grassy and wanted wear;Though as for that, the passing thereHad worn them really about the same,And both that morning equally layIn leaves no step had trodden black Oh, I kept the first for another day!Yet knowing how way leads on to way,I doubted if I should ever come back.I shall be telling this with a sighSomewhere ages and ages hence:two roads diverged in a wood, and I --I took the one less traveled by,And that has made all the difference.- Robert FrostIn beginning a journey, as this well-known poem affirms, one does not know thetwists and turns of the road to be followed or clearly understand the impact of choicesmade at the many forks in the roads. It is only upon reaching the end that these becomeclear. As life is like this, so involvement in this thesis project has been entirely like this.
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