Narrative moral formation for the church : the use of stories of living Christians to enhance moral formation.




Adu-Gyamfi, Ebenezer.

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The church needs to integrate stories of living Christians into its moral formation to help Christians grasp the foundations of biblical morality and respond faithfully to moral challenges. A theological study of Scripture shows that authors and faith leaders in biblical times used relatable stories to communicate these foundations of morality to their audience: narrativity, redemption, responsivity, and relationality. An examination of theological ethics also demonstrates that knowledge of ‘practical reason’ can enhance the church’s moral formation.

This project sought to draw on stories of living Christians to develop an inductive study that will enable eight Christians at Highland Baptist Church (Waco, Texas) to grasp the foundations of biblical morality and practical reason. The six-week intervention included an inductive study of the stories of four living Christians. Participants analyzed the ethical dimensions of these stories and placed them in conversation with biblical stories and passages. The pretest and posttest survey responses were compared to a control group of eight members of Highland Baptist Church. The results showed that the inductive study enhanced participants’ understanding of the four moral foundations and ‘practical reason.’ The study thus equipped participants with hermeneutical tools to offer a faithful response to moral issues in the church and society. Such a response is marked by conviction, creativity, and grace. Hopefully, this project will serve as a creative paradigm for the church’s moral formation and enhance the church’s capacity to articulate and embody biblical ethics.



Moral formation in the church., Biblical morality., Narrative ethics., Biographical theology., Foundations of biblical morality., Moral philosophy., Judeo-Christian ethics., Strories of living Christians., The power of stories., Deontological ethics., Narrativity., Redemption., Relationality., Responsivity., Graced transformation., Morality., Practical reason., Practicality., Situation ethics., Self-agency., Self-determination., Teleological ethics., Virtue ethics., Ethics of character., Genesis 1., Luke 10:25-37., Jesus' use of stories., 2 Samuel 11-12., Conviction., Creativity., Grace., Salvation history., Biblical metanarrative., Objective approach to morality., Engaging contextual stories., Antinomianism., Legalism., Moral relativism., Idealism., Propositionalism., Inductive study of stories., Faithful response to moral challenges in society., Ethics., Consequentialism., Sanctification., Relatable narratives., Storied culture., Narrative moral formation in the Bible.