Original Research

The goal of Christian virtue ethics: From ontological foundation and covenant relationship to the Kingdom of God

Solomon Yiu, Koos Vorster
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 47, No 1 | a689 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v47i1.689 | © 2013 Solomon Yiu, Koos Vorster | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 January 2013 | Published: 30 October 2013

About the author(s)

Solomon Yiu, School of Ecclesiastical Science, North-West University, South Africa
Koos Vorster, School of Ecclesiastical Science, North-West University, South Africa


Share this article

Bookmark and Share

Abstract

This article examined what constitutes Christian virtue ethics and its goal of highest human good. Christian virtue is a reality that is ontologically rooted in the grace of God through the atonement of Christ to envision the final good of creation. This view is drawn on the tripartite division of faith, hope and love as well as Paul Tillich’s ontological focus on the acclaimed quality of the virtue of love in relation to, and unity with, the virtues of power and justice as the ultimate reality in the divine ground for human existence. Christian believers must reunite the virtues which are received from God and by which Christians transformed in reality as new beings in the pursuit of the supreme goodness. Michael Horton’s covenantal model revealed a human being’s encounter with God, not only meeting, but recognising a stranger (a genuine ‘otherness’) under a covenant that was initiated by the grace of God with an awareness of his presence that was always immanent. A covenantal approach is used to describe the divine ‘presence’ and ‘absence’ as ethical and relational in getting the right conception and direction for our purpose from God. It also deals with the question of how our moral life is related to God and fellow humans toward the final goodness which is the highest good of the Kingdom of God. This article concluded with the coming rule of God’s imminent Kingdom as the true ultimate end of human beings and the eschatological fulfilment of humanity in goodness. The emphasis of the eschatological ethics lays on the theocentric futurity of the Kingdom directing Christians to the goal of the ultimate ideal and shaping the present existence of a Christian life.

Hierdie artikel ondersoek Christelike deugde-etiek en die doelwit van die hoogste menslike heil. Christelike deug is ’n realiteitsontologie wat veranker is in God se genade deur die versoening van Christus om sodoende die uiteindelike heil van die skepping te visualiseer. Die siening is gebaseer op die drieledige verdeling van geloof, hoop en liefde. Verder is dit gebaseer op Paul Tillich se ontologiese fokus op die prysenswaardige deug van liefde in verhouding en in eenheid met die deugde van mag en geregtigheid as die uiteindelike realiteit van die mens se bestaan. Christen-gelowiges moet die deugde wat hulle van God ontvang en waardeur hulle vernuwe word, versoen met die realiteit as nuwe wesens wat na die hoogste heil soek. Michael Horton se verbondsmodel wys dat die menslike konfrontasie met God nie net ’n ontmoeting is nie, maar ook die herkenning van ’n vreemdeling, ’n gans Andere, binne ’n verbond wat deur die genade van God geïnisieer word. Daar bly ’n bewustheid van sy teenwoordigheid wat altyd immanent is. ’n Verbondsbenadering beskryf die goddelike ‘teenwoordigheid’ en ‘afwesigheid’ as eties en relasioneel tot die verkryging van die regte verstaan van God self. Die verbondsbenadering gee ook ’n begrip van hoe ons morele lewe tot God en ons medemens verbind is tot die finale heil wat uiteindelik die heil van die Koninkryk van God inhou. Die artikel sluit af met die toekomstige regering van God se immanente Koninkryk as die ware uiteinde van die mens en die eskatologiese verwesenliking van goedheid. Die klem van eskatologiese etiek lê in die teosentriese toekomsgerigtheid van die Koninkryk − wat vir Christene die rigting na die doel van die uiteindelike ideaal aandui en wat die huidige bestaan van ’n Christen bepaal.


Keywords

No related keywords in the metadata.

Metrics

Total abstract views: 2170
Total article views: 7637


Crossref Citations

No related citations found.