"Doing Right: Practicing Ethical Principles" Book Review

"Doing Right: Practicing Ethical Principles"
A review of David W. Gill's "Doing Right: Practicing Ethical Principles".
# 152754 | 1,388 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2012 | US
Published on Apr 26, 2013 in Literature (American) , Religion and Theology (Christianity) , Ethics (General)

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The paper looks at how David W. Gill, in his work "Doing Right: Practicing Ethical Principles", presents a study of Christian ethics built around an exposition of the Ten Commandments. The paper provides a summary and analysis of this work and shows how Gill has simply restated the classical understanding of biblical ethics, though with some concessions for the hermeneutic of the modern era. The paper concludes that Gill has offered a "mixed bag" of ethical insights; on the one hand, he has offered a real service to the church by recalling the historic doctrines, while on the other hand, he has endorsed some of the more troubling issues that are redefining the ethics of the church. The paper therefore recommends this work only if it is cautioned to be read carefully.


From the Paper:

"Gill works within the idea that each of the Ten Commandments provides both "cover principles" and "area principles." He defines these terms as "broad, inclusive, and general" (cover principles) and "narrow, specific, and limited" (area principles). More expansively, he understands cover principles as those that apply to all situations, such as "Do to others what you would have them do to you," and area principles which focus on a particular act, such as "Do not steal." The larger framework for Gill's ethic is that it is centered on Jesus Christ, guided by Scripture, and informed by the church. Again, this model differs little from the holistic position of Reuschling, and yet, where Reuschling is at pains to locate the significance of the narrative in the "complexity and contingency of situations" (resulting in at least some degree of relativism), Gill's conclusions are generally more dogmatic, and more in line with the "unqualified absolutism" described by Geisler as holding that "[t]here are moral absolutes that admit of no exceptions, and these never actually come into conflict with one another."
"For instance, where Geisler sees in the biblical narratives of the "deception" of the Hebrew midwives and of Rahab a tacit approval of the violation of the Ninth Commandment ("justified lying" ), Gill seems to clearly suggest that, while the "teaching of Scripture is constant," these and other examples are simple a testimony to the "inconsistent witness" of the "biblical characters.""

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Geisler, Norman L. Christian Ethics: Contemporary Issues and Options. Grand Rapids, BakerAcademic, 2010.
  • Gill, David W. Doing Right: Practicing Ethical Principles. Downers Grove: IVP, 2004.
  • Reuschling, Wyndy Corbin. Reviving Evangelical Ethics: The Promises and Pitfalls of Classic Models of Morality. Grand Rapids: BrazosPress, 2008.

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

"Doing Right: Practicing Ethical Principles" (2013, April 26) Retrieved August 10, 2022, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/doing-right-practicing-ethical-principles-152754/

MLA Format

""Doing Right: Practicing Ethical Principles"" 26 April 2013. Web. 10 August. 2022. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/doing-right-practicing-ethical-principles-152754/>