In this capacious and accessible introduction to Christian ethics, Hak Joon Lee advances a renewed vision of Christian life that is liberative, grace-centered, and justice- and peace-oriented in nature. Responding to key ethical questions of today, Lee applies the moral meaning and implications of the New Covenant in Jesus Christ to twenty-first-century life, characterized by fluidity, fragmentation, division, and violence.
Christian Ethics begins by introducing covenant as the central drama and storyline of Scripture that culminates in the New Covenant of Jesus. It presents shalom (the wholeness and flourishing of creation) as God's ultimate purpose and God's covenant as "God's organizing mechanism of community" that mediates God's work of liberation and restoration. Lee proposes a creative model of Christian ethics based on the New Covenant of Jesus and its organizing patterns, reconstructing the key categories of ethics (agency, norms, authority of Scripture, ethical discernment, etc.) and drawing out four practices--communicative engagement, just peacemaking, grassroots organizing, and nonviolence. The result is a new model of Christian ethics that is inclusive, egalitarian, ecological, and justice- and peace-oriented, which overcomes the limitations of traditional covenantal ethics.
In the second part of the book, Lee systematically applies New Covenant ethics to the most urgent and controversial social issues of our time: democratic politics, economic ethics, creation care, criminal justice, race, sex and marriage, medicine, and war and peace. Through his deep, pastoral, and irenic inquiries into these difficult topics, Lee demonstrates a pattern of covenantal moral reasoning that undercuts the dominant neoliberal ethos of individualism and transactional relationship that more and more influences Christian moral decisions. His conclusion is that as covenant has been at the heart of modern democracy, human rights, civil society, and civic formation, a renewed understanding of covenant centered in Jesus can help to heal our broken society and imperiled planet, and to reorganize the fragmented human life in the era of globalization and digitization.