In my ethics class, we've been discussing and reading about what it means to develop a Christian ethic. Hauerwas and Yoder, among others, make the point that a Christian ethic will inevitably revolve around the cross: self-sacrificial love is at the forefront, and that is very convicting to Christians living in an age of individualistic salvation and material prosperity.
In a conversation with a couple friends recently, we debated the practical outworkings of such a self-giving Christian ethic. How do we live this out?
In last week's sermon, the pastor (coincidentally?) drew in a bit more of the picture for me when he suggested that we can only love others as we grow to love God. If we have not grasped the love God has for us, it will be difficult to honestly and effectively love others.
But this seems to beg the question: How do we grasp God's love? Although I do not want to turn this post into a discussion of Aristotelian ethics, it seems that there is a very necessary piece of the puzzle which turns on our simply doing. Should we not say that it is possible to understand God's love as we love others, however imperfectly? Can habits of giving lead us to a greater knowledge of God's love, which in turn illuminates the proper way to love others?
These are all questions just swirling around in my head right at the end of class... I'd love to hear what you think!