John Murray's work is a brief, evangelical, reformed articulation of biblical ethics as unified and consistent and specifically following the contours of creation ordinances. Murray finds a great deal of mandate in various aspects of creation, even though these are implicit and not explicit. He is at his best when he synthesizes several biblical passages on a topic, but he bases a bit too much "ought" on vagaries that he fails to demonstrate. For example, he claims that Genesis 2:2-3 "proves that the Sabbath was a creation ordinance and, as such, must have been known to Adam." The text makes no such claim and is at best only consistent with Murray's point. This tendency is by no means constant, but it is frequent enough to make many of his points seem convincing only to those already in agreement with him. Also, while many sound judgments find their way into his text, the general tenor of some of his treatments seem to miss the greater force of biblical direction. Two chapters particularly worth mentioning here are the ones on labor and on truth.
In his chapter on labor, Murray does manage to mention the importance of "justice and equity" in our economic dealings, but he does not sufficiently integrate this or the impact that the fall had on labor, namely in that 1) it (labor) became burdensome and 2) socio-economic relationships have since been plagued with injustice, as is decried time and again by holy scripture, though this does not explicitly fit into Murray's narrow focus of "creation ordinances." Such a focus seems to commit Murray to giving too much legitimacy to the status quo around us, uncritically accepting it as reflecting God's will rather than the product of fallen humans. For example, while he does warn of the trappings and abuses of personal property and wealth, this warning is sandwiched between two lengthy justifications of personal property and wealth as such. This may seem like a minor detail, but for a book on biblical ethics to miss a chance to follow Scripture's lead on urging believers to re-evaluate their relationship with their wealth ultimately has to go down as a major fault. God has had to spend far more time pricking our consciences towards justice and generosity than in convincing us it is ok to have stuff.
However, the chapter on truth is positively disturbing. Murray pays lip service to what seems like the more fundamental biblical admonition against general deceptiveness before going on to place most of his emphasis on the speaking true utterances. He takes up the highly debatable positions that: 1) it is okay to be intentionally misleading as long as your words are not technically false; 2) it is not okay to lie to save lives, etc; and 3) to mistakenly pass on false information, while not lying, is still sin. And he positively tortures the biblical record to deny that God led or approved of specific instances of lying or at least deception. Position #1 is especially dubious and is precisely the kind of legalism Christ denounced. Most of us hopefully did not get away with such truth-twisting as kids!
On a different note, Murray's final chapter on the fear of God is most lucid as he successfully distinguishes between a negative fear of God (fearful anxiety at God's approach due to one's blatant sin) versus a sober, reverent regard for who God is and that his person is owed our total commitment. This chapter, taken by itself, is actually quite excellent and sends the reader off with a roused heart, hopefully to find his/her way to a richer biblical ethic than the one articulated in the rest of the book.