Bible--Ethics

OPEN WOUND, OPEN TABLE: A THEOLOGICAL EXPLORATION OF HOLY COMMUNION AS PRACTICED BY THE BORDER CHURCH/LA IGLESIA FRONTERIZA

Author
Seth David Clark D.Min.
Abstract
This study explores the Border Church, which worships across the San Diego-Tijuana border fence at Friendship Park, and how its weekly bi-national, bilingual, nonsectarian communion service, intersects with the lived realities of its borderlands congregants. Through participant-witness ethnography of my congregation and five semi-structured, open-ended interviews, I examine how God is experienced in Christian practices, especially communion, at the border wall. I conclude that borderlands experiences are not monolithic, which counters false groupings of and “othering” tropes about migrants, deportees, and activists. I also theologize about unity amid division and how to make the bread of the table even more open.

A Phenomenology of Authentic Leadership

Author
Joshua James Tilley D.Min.
Abstract
Objective: To grasp the characteristics and essence of authentic leadership as seen and experienced through the lives of those who have served under and/or over those they perceive and identify as “authentic” or “high quality” leaders.

Method: A literary review and a biblical review were conducted to establish the current scholarship related to authentic leadership. A new phenomenological study was conducted in October of 2018. 12 individuals were interviewed either in person, by phone, or via a video chat.
Results: The result was a literary study, a biblical review, and a new phenomenological study of authentic leadership.

Conclusions: Through the phenomenology and subsequent qualitative research, the researcher came to the conclusion that authentic leadership is provided, felt, and acted upon in different ways by different people in different cultures, but the one universal essence of authentic leadership is the paradox of “relief” and “peace” preceded by a sense of “anxiety” and “pressure,” which is provoked within the follower by the leader. Trust is built through the process.
A model of existential peace is offered to demonstrate this meaning, but no model for creating an authentic leadership is presented as a phenomenology does not provide the groundwork needed to establish such a theory. All cultures represent leadership in different ways, so further research would need to be conducted to create such a model.

Toward the Spirituality of Oneness: A Remedy to the Attitude of 'We versus They,' A Case of the Turkana and Pokot Communities in Lodwar and Kitale Catholic Dioceses, Kenya

Author
Jane Frances Nabakaawa DM D.Min.
Abstract
Abstract

The purpose of this study is to identify, examine and address the factors contributing to attitude of “we versus them” amongst human societies. We use the Pokot and Turkana ethnic groups as a case study. Through social analysis and the theological reflection, that is, the dialogue of the problem with Magisterium of the church about the spirituality of oneness based on our Lord Jesus’ prayer, “Father that may be one…” (John 17:21), it discusses ways of how humanity can eradicate this divisive attitude by learning how to live as “one” with the aid of Christian (Catholic) spirituality. On the basis of this examination, a number of Pastoral recommendations are proposed on ways in which the catechists as lay ministers at the grassroots can be able to contribute to the rigorous efforts of combating the sin of division to the unity in diversity which we focus on and term as the spirituality of oneness. Thus adding a new dimension of how humanity is to live as one as it captures the daily dynamics, transformative quality of spirituality as a lived experience linked to our relationship to the Ultimate, with others and society and the cosmic world.

Return to an Ethnic of Being: Recovering the Identity of the Church by Adherence to a Biblical Version of Virtue Ethics

Author
James J Wilson
Abstract
Secular and religious scholars have often misinterpreted what scripture says about Christian ethics. People from both realms frequently align Christianity with a deontological system of ethics. However, such a system of duty ethics often leads to a self-righteous legalism both groups would oppose. The locus of scripture is not to teach believers to do, but rather to become and the doing will follow. The paper interacts with the teachings of Aristotle, Augustine and Aquinas to establish both an historical and theological basis for virtue ethics. The church departed her normal practice of virtue theory and replaced it with deontology. It is time for the church to recover the biblical system of virtue ethics. Deontology is not set aside, but used as a guide for assessing the virtues required. Believers must especially cultivate the virtues of faith, hope and love in order to recover the reputation of the Church as a holy and reliable institution that can point the world to the One True God. When congregants aspire to become virtuous Christians, then the church will be able to recover her identity as the holy institution of God in the eyes of the world. Preaching, teaching and mentoring must lead believers to understand what they must become, and then what they do will be the fruit of that being.

Communicating authorial intent through biblical narrative to children

Author
Larry Thomas Harvey
Abstract
The thesis project will attempt to demonstrate the relationship between biblical hermeneutics and homiletics in a way that effectively teaches children about the morals of biblical stories. Based on the presupposition that the goal of hermeneutics is to discover the intended meaning of the biblical author within his original historical/grammatical/cultural milieu and further that the goal of homiletics os to convey the biblical author's intended meaning to a contemporary audience via a simple single idea (moral), the biblical moral will be both relevant and timeless and can effectively be communicated to children through biblical narrative.

A Christian world view of economics

Author
Robert James Romano
Abstract
This marketplace ministry focuses on the question: What is the Christian worldview of economics? In order to answer this question, the following topics will be researched in order to determine which of the major economic systems best adheres to the biblical material: stewardship, freedom, work, justice, mercy and the economic systems. The goal of this thesis project is to create a seminar on the Christian worldview of economics that can be used to educate Christians about biblical economic principles and to survey Christians about their worldview of economics in relation to the marketplace. I expect the seminar to help Christians make a stronger connection of their faith to work. The seminar was designed for Heartist Ministries, which is my own para-church worldview training and apologetics ministry, but it can also be easily adapted for a church Sunday School curriculum or formatted for an at home small group Bible Study program. The pre-seminar and post-seminar surveys and tests were also developed for this thesis.

An examination of biblical and Confucian teachings on end-of-life decisions

Author
Edward C Leung
Abstract
There is a lack of literature addressing bioethical issues from both biblical and Confucian perspectives. This research thesis examines both biblical and Confucian teachings on four key concepts, "human dignity," "suffering," "suicide," and "life after death," pertaining to end-of-life issues. The focus of application is on patient autonomy, physician-assisted suicide, and decisions on withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment. The goal is to provide a biblical foundation to a pro-life position and to gain insight on what one needs to be aware of when making end-of-life decisions in a Chinese-Confucian context. It is believed that with the Bible as the ultimate authority for conduct and behavior, a Christian equipped with an understanding of Confucian teachings will be able to make end-of-life decisions in a Chinese-Confucian context that are biblical and sensitive to the culture.

Character quest: a strategy for the spiritual development of virtuous leaders at Crosspoint Church

Author
Jack A Stamback
Abstract
Character formation is a biblically legitimate topic of study. The intent of this project is to create an environment of transformation for the development of virtuous leaders at Crosspoint Church in Hemet, California. This project, therefore, developed lectures on the creation ordinances of Genesis, the wisdom sayings of Proverbs, the beatitudes of Matthew's gospel, and the key vice and virtue lists of the New Testament. The research design combined thirteen weeks of instruction, weekly sermonic reading, daily practice of the spiritual disciplines, and evaluation instruments. The study concluded that character formation is enhanced when students practice spiritual disciplines in community.

An organic-prophetic-liberation model of social engagement: an Adventist ethical response to contemporary moral issues

Author
Maury Damon Jackson
Abstract
The purpose of this professional project was to design a model of moral theology derived from the legacy of an Adventist theological heritage and based upon the works of contemporary theological ethicists. It begins with an empirical analysis of moral issue articles within two Seventh-day Adventist journals, Ministry Magazine and Message Magazine, over the period from fall 2001 through December 2005. Next, a conceptual analysis is undertaken of the theological model that informs moral judgments within these journals. The conclusions of the analysis are that the model of moral theology is legalistic in its commitment to an inflexible and literalistic biblicism. In addition to critiquing the model for moral theology within these journals, the model of moral theology offered by Immanuel Kant is reviewed and found to be inadequate for providing a viable alternative. This is because it too is legalistic in its commitment to an inflexible rationalism. What is offered as a viable alternative for a robust Adventist moral theology is one that takes seriously the Adventist heritage by organically binding moral imperatives to prima facie biblical principles that emerge from major biblical motifs. Moreover, this model incorporates the Adventist prophetic witness to oppressive contexts. This is the organic-prophetic-liberation model of social engagement.

Responding to immigrants: using the Bible as the ultimate immigration handbook

Author
Joan M Maruskin
Abstract
The biblical narrative is a migration story from beginning to end. It opens with the Spirit of God moving or migrating across the face of the waters and ends with the book of Revelation being written by John while he is in exile on the isle of Patmos. The key event for Christians is the birth of Jesus, the refugee Christ. The text outlines the migration narrative and compares and contrasts the relationship between the treatment of migrants, immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers of today with those of that time period. The predominant term used for these groups in the text is "strangers." Theologically, the text develops the need for and method to practice inclusive hospitality in response to the strangers in the United States during the 21st century. Inclusive hospitality is developed by embracing the diversity of the Trinity and the teachings of the Bible. God, the creator, repeatedly mandates hospitality to strangers in the Hebrew Bible. Christ Jesus comes as the refugee, migrant, stranger and, in addition, models acceptance of and hospitality towards strangers. The Holy Spirit is presently with us, sent by Christ to guide and direct our response in the kairos moment in which we live. God continues to come as the stranger and we are challenged to respond with inclusive hospitality. The theology of the mystic Howard Thurman is also used to aid in responding to the strangers in the land. In responding, the decision to choose between God's law and man's law sometimes becomes a necessity. This issue is addressed with a chapter that provides an overview of immigration law to aid in understanding present-day immigration questions. In addition to providing information on immigrants, migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, the text offers a variety of teaching and worship materials. These include studies on the variety of immigrants, worship materials, general information, and three educational programs. They are a seven-session study that gives an overview of the immigration categories; a five-session study, "Immigration: blessing or curse," which seeks to have the participants decide; and a refugee study guide for children, youth, and adults. In addition, other educational materials are provided to facilitate an understanding of the importance of developing a theology of inclusive hospitality to welcome the strangers in the land -- because once we were strangers in the land of Egypt.
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