I was asked about book recommendations on ethics. Here are my four choice picks
The Moral Vision of the New Testament: Community, Cross, New Creation, A Contemporary Introduction to New Testament Ethics
Hays is a top-notch NT scholar. I don’t agree with everything he says about the NT, but I think his ethics text is an excellent example of how to do ethics in a theoretical and exegetical framework.
Resurrection and Moral Order: An Outline for Evangelical Ethics
To be honest, I have not read this book in its entirety, but I have read several of O’Donovan’s other works. O’Donovan probably represents the most thought-through and sophisticated evangelical ethicist today. This book outlines his approach to ethics overall, and is well worth the read. Slightly convoluted at points. My major criticism of O’Donovan concerns his political theology and the ethics of war.
The How and Why of Love, Michael Hill.
Hill’s book is far more straightforward than O’Donovan’s, but is working from roughly the same framework. Hill is an easy entry-point, explaining things from the start, but his ethical theory is powerful, radical, and his book seeks to apply it sensitively to contemporary ethical issues.
The Politics of Jesus
Yoder’s classic work, ‘The Politics of Jesus’, remains an indispensable read. I believe Yoder shows how to take Jesus seriously for one’s ethics, and unlike Hauerwas and many who have followed that line, Yoder has a convincing biblical ethic of Christo-centric non-violence that does not neglect a classic doctrine of atonement, but arguably depends and is integrated with it. My major criticism of contemporary christian pacifism is that most strands of it are allied with theological trends that are dubious at best, heretical at worst. Yoder provides a powerful counterpoint and alternative, and his work deserves more and more attention.
I would also encourage a careful consideration of the NT scriptures and how they deal with the OT Law, particularly both Matthew’s Gospel, and a nuanced and extensive consideration of Paul. Our ability to read the integrity of the scriptural canon in large part depends upon the full scope of the NT witness