Friday, November 07, 2008
Burridge on Inclusivist NT Ethics
A new book on the scene is Imitating Jesus: An Inclusive Approach to New Testament Ethics by Richard A. Burridge (Eerdmans: Grand Rapids, 2007). This book will prompt much debate and discussion. Central for Burridge is that NT ethics revolves around: (1) NT ethics means imitation of Jesus, and (2) NT ethics calls for a radical inclusiveness in an all embracing community. Burridge seems to come close to equating non-acceptance of homosexuality with apartheid in South Africa. The closing words of the book are: "Whenever we are presented with a choice between being biblical and being inclusive, it is a false dichotomy - for to be truly biblical is to be inclusive in any community which wants to follow and imitate Jesus" (p. 409). I'd like to know (1) how the heck Burridge gets around a text like 1 Cor. 5.1-5, and (2) how would Richard Hays respond (Hays' book The Moral Vision of the New Testament is already an academic classic)?