From the Editors: Christian Ethics
Humans are ethical beings. Our nature as well as decisions, values as well as goals, relationships as well as self-evaluations, embody the ethical dimensions of human existence. This issue of Direction is devoted primarily to ethical questions.
We begin with four case studies designed to illuminate Christian ethical reflection and response. They embrace questions of life style, integrity, and relationships. I gratefully acknowledge the contribution of Elmer Martens in developing these case studies and soliciting and editing the responses.
Ed Boschman explores the issue of sexual ethics in the ministry. While our denomination restricts senior pastoral roles to males, his reflections seem to be easily translatable into situations where women serve as pastors.
Elmer Thiessen responds to the query: What right do Christians have to address the ethics of society at large? Herb Kopp traces the process of congregational ethical reflections in the church which he pastors. And Howard Loewen leads us through the development of Twentieth Century Christian ethical thought. One would do well to read the responses to the case studies in the light of Loewen’s article.
This August, Mennonite Brethren church leaders will meet at Normal, Illinois to study and debate the biblical, theological, and church polity dimensions of the issues of baptism, Lord’s Supper, and the ministry of women. Elias Wiebe and Gus Quadrizius contribute to that discussion from the vantage points of a Christian educator and a pastor, respectively.
With this issue, I turn over the editorial reins to Dr. Elmer Martens. It has been satisfying to oversee the development of Direction over the past eight years. I relinquish my responsibilities to my predecessor and successor, knowing that he brings expertise, commitment, creativity, and energy to the task.