Ethics involves standards of behaviour that dictate how one should conduct oneself in a given situation. The word ethics is derived from the Greek term ethos (έθος), which has reference to custom, usage, manner of life, or pattern of conduct (Verbrugge 2000:372). Although ethics resides within the discipline of systematic theology, Grudem (1994:26) correctly distinguishes between the two, in that theology is concerned primarily with how persons should think, while ethics is concerned with how persons should live. In general terms, ethical inquiry is a journey into one’s moral nature for the purpose of discovering areas of personal responsibility and how to fulfil them. The aim of this article is to analyse the theological basis of Christian ethics and to evaluate Christian ethics in terms of criteria for an adequate ethical system.

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