6 books I recommend for Studying Christian Ethics

Andrew T. Walker | May 7th 2019

I frequently get asked to recommend books that introduce readers to the subject of Christian ethics. Actually, I get asked often enough that it’s time to write out a list of books that I can point people to quickly.

Below are books that I think anyone interested in Christian ethics should purchase and read, and more importantly, keep as a trusted resource.

This list is not exhaustive. Rather, what you’ll find below are Christian ethics texts that are meant to point interested learners in the right direction.

After each book, I’ve tried to write one to two sentences explaining its unique contribution.

Choosing the Good: Christian Ethics in a Complex World by Dennis Hollinger.

Hollinger’s book is one of my favorites because it takes into consideration various cultural and philosophical contexts in which ethics is done.

An Introduction to Biblical Ethics by David Jones.

Jones’ book is maybe the best intro book out there. One, it isn’t too long. Two, it is clearly written. This might be the best starting point for someone looking for their first book. Jones also does a good job of exploring intricate debates within the field of ethics.

Christian Ethics: Contemporary Issues and Options by Norman Geisler.

Geisler’s book is a classic ethical text. This book does a terrific job of explaining ethical dilemmas and various theories for solving supposed ethical conflicts.

The Moral Quest: Foundations of Christian Ethics by Stanley Grenz.

This is probably my favorite ethics text because it explains both the history of ancient approaches to ethics as well as introducing readers to the various models of Christian ethics done throughout church history.

Resurrection and Moral Order: An Outline for Evangelical Ethics by Oliver O’Donovan.

This is by far the most challenging text on this list, but maybe also the most rewarding. O’Donovan’s text is arguably the most important ethics text from an evangelical perspective in the twentieth century.

Ethics for a Brave New World by John and Paul Feinberg

This book has it all: Theories of ethics, applied ethics.

Many, many more books could be listed here, but not to overwhelm individuals who are making their first exploration into Christian ethics, the above books ought to send you on your journey toward discovering the rich field of Christian ethics.

Andrew T. Walker is the Director of Research and Senior Fellow in Christian Ethics at the ERLC.

Join the ERLC for May 20-21 in Nashville for their annual ERLC Academy on "Introduction to Christian Ethics" taught by Russell Moore. The ERLC Ethics Academy is an academic initiative of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission that serves to equip pastors and students to apply the gospel to complex moral and ethical issues.

Andrew T. Walker

Andrew T. Walker (@andrewtwalk) is Director of Policy Studies for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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