C. Ben Mitchell, Ethics and Moral Reasoning: A Student’s Guide (Reclaiming the Christian Intellectual Tradition; Wheaton: Crossway, 2013), 95–96:
Below is a suggested procedure for finding ethical guidance from the Bible:
- Pray for divine illumination.
- Define the ethical issues or problems.
- Clarify the issue to be examined.
- Glean all scriptural data on the issue with attention to:
- Study the scriptural instruction carefully with attention to:
- Literary style and organization
- Definitions and grammar
- Overall theme, purpose, historical significance.
- What does the text say in its context?
- What does the text mean today?
- Apply the biblical instruction:
- Engage in dialogue with the community of the faithful.
- Study the history of Christian ethics.
- Formulate a Christian ethical position.
Bonus: Here’s a gem from Mitchell’s acknowledgements (p. 22, emphasis added):
For nearly a decade I had the wonderful experience of not only teaching with Graham Cole at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School but also being next-door neighbors with him and his wife, Julie. Graham may have saved my life by reminding me that “we are creatures before we are Christians” and that living life to its fullest is not necessarily the same as going as fast as one can—a lesson I’m still trying to apply.