Mere Morality: What God Expects from Ordinary People
- Is there a morality that shows us how to survive as a humane community?
- Can we know what God expects of the human family?
- Is there a morality for ordinary people?
In this book, the author explores the way to moral sanity amid the confusions and crises of contemporary life. We do not, says Smedes, have a "moral map" to mark out the details of our route in advance, but neither are we left to grope and improvise at every step.
The focus of Smedes's study is the commandments--in particular those five of the Ten Commandments which call us to respect other persons: "Honor your father and mother"; "You shall not kill"; "You shall not commit adultery"; "You shall not steal"; "You shall not bear false witness." Each of these commandments pinpoints the moral nucleus of one sector of life in community--family, marriage, property, communication, and the preservation of life itself.
Using these commandments as a basis, Smedes asks three questions:
- What does God command us to do?
- Why does he command this?
- How can we obey this in the ambiguities and conflicts of real life?