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Singing the Ethos of God
On the Place of Christian Ethics in Scripture
POD; Published: 4/2/2007
ISBN: 978-0-8028-0379-5
Price: $ 46.50
408 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6.14 x 9.21
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Noting that academic biblical scholars and Christian ethicists have been methodologically estranged for some decades now, Brian Brock seeks to reframe the whole Bible-and-ethics discussion in terms of this question: What role does the Bible play in God's generation of a holy people -- and how do we participate in that regeneration?

Brock first examines various major contemporary thinkers on the Bible and Christian ethics, including John Howard Yoder, Brevard Childs, John Webster, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He then undertakes major discussions of Augustine and Martin Luther, unpacking their interpretation of the Psalms. Finally, Brock articulates the processes of renewal in God's people. His close study of a few individual psalms shows how we enter the world of praise in which all human life is comprehended within God's work -- and is thus renewed. Immersion in the exegetical tradition of the Christian faith, Brock argues, must be the heart and soul of theology and ethics.

Stanley Hauerwas
— Duke Divinity School
"This is not just another book about the relationship between ethics and scripture. It is not this simply because Brock, drawing on an extraordinary analysis of Augustine's and Luther's exposition of the Psalms, challenges the formal accounts of ethics and hermeneutics that have created the so-called problem of the relation between scripture and ethics. With erudition Brock draws on the best work available to sustain an exposition of the Psalms that helps us understand why they must be sung if we are to be the readers God would have us be to witness to the one who is alone the subject of the Psalms, that is, Jesus Christ. Brock's reading of Bonhoeffer's account of Psalm 119 is alone worth the price of the book. Brock clearly does not want to make the Bible familiar but by helping us see the oddness of the familiar he draws us into an imaginative vision of what our lives would look like in light of the Psalms."
Bernd Wannenwetsch
— Harris Manchester College, Oxford
"Brian Brock is one of the most gifted younger scholars in theological ethics, and this book more than proves the point. He suggests an exciting turning of the tables in the debate on Scripture's usefulness for Christian ethics with a fascinating analysis of two champions of 'premodern' biblical exegesis and their accounts of the Psalter — Augustine and Luther. Instead of approaching Scripture with a preconceived general theory of understanding, Singing the Ethos of God instructs the reader in how the fathers practiced the (sung) Psalter in order to become familiar with God's own patterns of communication in and through Scripture, coming in time to shape the lives of those who 'read' appropriately. Beyond Hermeneutics would have been an apt subtitle for this groundbreaking study."
John Webster
— King's College, Aberdeen
"Astute in its analysis, robust in its proposals, and spiritually charged throughout, this is theology of a high order, offering one of the most stimulating portrayals of the scriptural moral landscape to appear in recent years."