Ethics is freedom in Christ to pursue the good, true, and beautiful.
Pastors regularly face concrete ethical questions. And they, too, pursue a moral life. In the busyness of ministry, it can be tempting to think pragmatically or derive one’s ethics from the latest cultural concerns. But standard approaches to ethics, whether deontological, utilitarian, or virtue-ethical, all fall short of being distinctly Christian. Ethics ought to be grounded in the gospel and in our triune God.
In Pastoral Ethics, W. Ross Hastings provides pastors an evangelical and trinitarian framework for moral formation and ethical discernment. For Hastings, ethics must be reclaimed as theological. Theology without ethics becomes gnosticism. Ethics without theology leads to legalism and death. Christian ethics participates in God’s life and God’s work. This communion with God leads to obedience to his commands as summed up in the Decalogue, and over several chapters Hastings provides a rich exposition for pastoral formation. Pastors find their identity in God, and this inspires right thinking and acting with regard to authority, life and death, sexuality, work and rest, speech, and desires.
An approach to ethics that prompts faith, hope, and love, Pastoral Ethics is an essential guide for Christians in all ministry contexts.
This fine book did my heart—and mind!—good in many significant ways. ... I hope this book encourages and equips many in facing the complex challenges of contemporary discipleship.
—Richard J. Mouw, president emeritus, Fuller Seminary; senior research fellow, Paul B. Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics, Calvin University
I wish I had this book in hand years ago. I am glad I now have it, and so will you be!
—Darrell Johnson, teaching fellow, Regent College, Vancouver, Canada
Seeking to root ethics in the character and pursuit of God, it serves its purpose well—to shape ethically rooted church leaders who can minister effectively through the dilemmas life raises in a most challenging time.
—Darrell Bock, executive director for cultural engagement, Howard G. Hendricks Center for Christian Leadership and Cultural Engagement; senior research professor of New Testament studies, Dallas Theological Seminary
Pastoral ethics is not just a theological discipline to be practiced but an invitation to participate in the sacred intimacy of the Trinity. It is a prophetic voice that emerges from ‘union with Christ and in communion with the Triune God.’ This is a rare book that not only imparts practical wisdom but also revives the soul.
—David Hearn, president, The Alliance, Canada
Firmly rooted in the Bible, Pastoral Ethics does not shy away from the tough ethical questions posed by culture and science but helpfully shows how theology should guide us in the counsel we give and the decisions we make.
—Andy Hunter, Scotland & North of England director, Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEF)
W. Ross Hastings (PhD, University of St. Andrews, Scotland) is Sangwoo Youtong Chee Professor of Theology and Pastoral Theology at Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia. He was pastor of Peace Portal Alliance Church in White Rock, British Columbia, for eleven years and is author of several books, including Theological Ethics, Echoes of Coinherence, and Jonathan Edwards and the Life of God.