- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: William B Eerdmans Publishing Co; 2nd Revised edition edition (1 Aug. 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0802811442
- ISBN-13: 978-0802811448
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.8 x 22.9 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 676,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Principles of Conduct: Aspects of Biblical Ethics Paperback – 1 Aug 1991
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From the Back Cover
Now back in print with a new foreword, this classic study clearly shows the organic unity and continuity of the biblical ethic.
About the Author
Murray was born in Scotland, was educated in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Princeton, and spent most of his distinguished career teaching systematic theology at Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.