Review: An Introduction to Biblical Ethics

20458356An Introduction to Biblical Ethics: Walking in the Way of Wisdom (third edition) by J. Robertson McQuilkin and Paul Copan is an up-to-date, comprehensive overview of biblical ethics from a Christian worldview. The book is uniquely organized around the ethical implications that emerge from within the Ten Commandments, namely the love for God and the love for neighbor. The structure of the book is much the same as the previous editions, but Copan has both added and updated the material to reflect modern concerns (i.e. end-of-life ethics, stem-cell research, animal rights, sexuality, plastic surgery, genetics and technology, etc.). McQuilkin and Copan are attentive to allow the Scriptures to inform the conversation throughout and the reader will appreciate this clear line of sight.

Chapters 1-11 establish some of the foundational concerns with constructing a biblical ethic, such as a biblical view of love, law, sin, etc. McQuilkin and Copan have also added a section focused on ethical alternatives to help orient the reader more firmly in the Christian tradition. This allows the reader to identify the detectives of a biblical ethic more clearly before any attempt is made to apply the Bible to life. Chapters 12-34 build upon the foundation of the biblical ethic previously established and helps the reader apply such to various ethically related topics. These chapters will comprise the heartbeat of the book for most readers and users of this introduction. The issues discussed are vast, and McQuilkin and Copan offer a detailed treatment of each from a conservative evangelical perspective—both saturated with Scripture and logically presented with the consistency of conviction.

This third edition of An Introduction to Biblical Ethics: Walking in the Way of Wisdom follows in the footsteps of two well-received prior editions. Paul Copan has brought a fresh set of eyes to the task and built upon McQuilkin’s work with rigor and awareness. This is a book to keep nearby and consult often. It is an introduction, so readers will need to plan accordingly for further study. But for those that are ready to get their feet wet and begin applying the Bible to everyday life, McQuilkin and Copan is a first-rate resource. It is trustworthy, dependable, and equally engaging. Disagreements will arise for some readers. However, those who honestly analyze the arguments presented in this book should walk away with a new perspective worthy of consideration and application in the Christian life. I couldn’t recommend this book more! 

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