Pastor Fritz Foltz

Pastor Foltz is Pastor Emeritus of Saint James Lutheran Church in Gettysburg, PA and author of the the Frontline Study content.

Lesson 15: The Simplest Christian Ethic

Lesson 15: The Simplest Christian Ethic

The simplest Christian ethic is based on what Jesus said and did. It begins by believing Jesus said exactly what he meant. It discerns that he lived by what he said. And it assumes if we are to follow him, we are to do the same. Other New Testament writers and the early Church pretty […]

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Lesson 14: Jim Wallis’ Ten Personal Decisions

Lesson 14: Jim Wallis’ Ten Personal Decisions

The rest of the course will focus on Christian ethics. In a sense, it will try to answer the question Derek advanced last week, “How do Christians participate in a society that not only does not accept its values, but often opposes them?” Many argue Christians should confine themselves to their own small groups at […]

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Lesson 12: Community Loyalty (Sandel, Chapter 9)

Lesson 12: Community Loyalty (Sandel, Chapter 9)

If I asked you who you are, chances are you would describe yourself with a list of the groups to which you belong: your family, neighborhood, ethnic group, town, and nation, as well other social affiliations. Sandel claims these communities shape our ethics as much, if not more, than abstract rational reasoning or voluntary choices. […]

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Lesson 11: Aristotle’s Justice (Sandel, Chapter 8)

Lesson 11: Aristotle’s Justice (Sandel, Chapter 8)

Aristotle believed humans are political creatures by nature. He thinks this is apparent when we see how our speech enables us to relate to one another quite differently than beasts or gods. Politics not only gathers us into communities for defense against foreign powers, but also for using rational speech rather than physical violence to […]

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Lesson 10: Is Affirmative Action Fair? <br />(Sandel, Chapter  7)

Lesson 10: Is Affirmative Action Fair?
(Sandel, Chapter 7)

Rawls acknowledges after we establish a fair situation, it immediately is lost as factors such as birth, education, talent, skill, and situation come into play. The question becomes whether we simply accept this or seek some compensation for the weak. For example, are affirmative action programs a form of justice? Is promoting equality by giving […]

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Lesson 9:  John Rawls– Equality for All (Sandel, Chapter 6)

Lesson 9: John Rawls– Equality for All (Sandel, Chapter 6)

We’re looking at how we find the moral principles to determine what is right, just, and good. Kant believed we could this with human reason alone. Theoretically, every rational individual will come up with duties natural to all people. John Rawls, probably the most distinguished writer on justice in recent time, sees the same limitations […]

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Lesson 8:  Kant: Absolute Law (Sandel, Chapter 5)

Lesson 8: Kant: Absolute Law (Sandel, Chapter 5)

If the first question in ethics is whether there is justice or right written into all things out there, the second is how do we know what that is. So far Sandel has tried to show utilitarianism, libertarianism, and the free market are helpful as guidelines, but their advocates ultimately rely on other principles and […]

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Lesson 7: What is the Free Market?<br />  (Sandel, Chapter 4)

Lesson 7: What is the Free Market?
(Sandel, Chapter 4)

As I read Sandel, I constantly ask myself, “What is the free market?” Almost all his examples and arguments assume it is lurking in the shadowy background to make sure its role is considered. Yet although Sandel continually refers to it, he never really defines what the free market is. What is the free market? […]

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Lesson 6: The Free Market and Paying for Pregnancy (Sandel, Chapter 4)

Lesson 6: The Free Market and Paying for Pregnancy (Sandel, Chapter 4)

Sandel’s second test of the approaches he has examined so far concerns paying someone else to carry your baby. He begins with the Mary Beth Whitehead case in which a couple makes a contract for someone else to bear their child. When the mother reneges on the contract, the courts have a tough time deciding […]

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