Search this journal:     Advanced search
Original Research

The ethics of absolute relativity: An eschatological ontological model for interpreting the Sermon on the Mount

Andre van Oudtshoorn

Verbum et Ecclesia; Vol 35, No 1 (2014), 7 pages. doi: 10.4102/ve.v35i1.883

Submitted: 11 June 2013
Published:  12 March 2014

Abstract

Jesus’ imperatives in the Sermon on the Mount continue to play a significant role in Christian ethical discussions. The tension between the radical demands of Jesus and the impossibility of living this out within the everyday world has been noted by many scholars. In this article, an eschatological-ontological model, based on the social construction of reality, is developed to show that this dialectic is not necessarily an embarrassment to the church but, instead, belongs to the essence of the church as the recipient of the Spirit of Christ and as called by him to exist now in terms of the coming new age that has already been realised in Christ. The absolute demands of Jesus’ imperatives, it is argued, must relativise all other interpretations of reality whilst the world, in turn, relativises Jesus’ own definition of what ‘is’ and therefore also the injunctions to his disciples on how to live within this world. This process of radical relativisation provides a critical framework for Christian living. The church must expect, and do, the impossible within this world through her faith in Christ who recreates and redefines reality. The church’s ethical task, it is further argued, is to participate with the Spirit in the construction of signs of this new reality in Christ in this world through her actions marked by faith, hope and love.

Full Text:  |  HTML  |  EPUB  |  XML  |  PDF (387KB)

Author affiliations

Andre van Oudtshoorn, Department of the Dean of Academics and Research, Perth Bible College, Australia

Metrics

Total abstract views: 1029
Total article views: 3369

Cited-By

No related citations found

Comments on this article

Before posting your comment, please read our policy.
Post a Comment (Login required)


ISSN: 1609-9982 (print) | ISSN: 2074-7705 (online)

Connect on: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube

Subscribe to our newsletter

All articles published in this journal are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.

©2016 AOSIS (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved. No unauthorised duplication allowed.

AOSIS Publishing | Empowering Africa through access to knowledge
Postnet Suite #110, Private Bag X19, Durbanville, South Africa, 7551
Tel: 086 1000 381 
Tel: +27 21 975 2602 
Fax: 086 5004 974

publishing(AT)aosis.co.za replace (AT) with @

Please read the privacy statement.