Singing the Ethos of God is a meditation on an interconnected set of problems modern western Christians encounter when trying to bring Scripture to bear on the moral questions of the day. My sense that such a book needed to be written crystallized in an Oxford seminar on the use of the Bible in Christian ethics. In that seminar several world-class biblical scholars and moral theologians gathered with a room full of the English-speaking world’s future pastors and academic theologians, attempting to discern the ethical implications of a few classic biblical passages.
The results were disastrous. Occasional flashes of insight emerged, but the participants were left with the overwhelming impression that so much complicated critical machinery has been interposed between us and Scripture that we (i.e., primarily academically trained theologians) no longer have the skills to handle it directly.