Talking about Ethics: Negotiating the Maze

Justin Denholm


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Also available in eBook format (eISBN 9781617506086). To find out how to order online, visit our eBook page. You can also follow these direct links:


Talking about Ethics springs from a passion to see Christians engaging in ethical conversations in a thoughtful and winsome way. Ethical conversations are more than simply interesting diversions or a way to arrive at the right answer. Instead, they should be understood also as effective tools for Christians to use in various ways. They are tools for discipleship, training and evangelism, and can add extra dimensions to how we study the Bible and meet together.

This book is divided into two parts. The first section provides a general overview of approaches to ethics. In order to be able to have good discussions about ethics, we need to start by understanding our own and other people’s ethical ideas. The second section turns to ways of using ethics as a tool in Christian life. This includes some very practical ideas about using these ethical skills in ways that enrich and challenge in a variety of settings.

Dr Justin Denholm has directed the Centre for Applied Christian Ethics at Ridley Melbourne since 2008. He is also an infectious diseases physician and researcher. Justin has a wide range of ethical interests, including biomedical technology, the ethics of evangelism and bringing a Christian worldview into political, environmental and economic conversations. He is especially passionate about encouraging Christians in integrating their faith into their workplaces and daily lives and explaining their beliefs clearly to others. Justin and his family live in Brunswick, Victoria, where they have many challenging ethical conversations within their communities.

Our latest review of Talking about Ethics was written by Gillian Porter, in the April 2012 newsletter of SPCK-Australia. To read this review, download the pdf here.

Justin Denholm’s Talking About Ethics brings Scripture, wisdom and experience as a doctor, ethicist and mentor into a package of helpful resources for individuals and small groups. It meets its aim: to enable Christians to converse constructively with each other and non-Christians about pressing moral issues as a form of ethical apologetics.
Gordon Preece, Director, ETHOS: Evangelical Alliance Centre for Christianity and Society

Stemming from a conviction that ethical issues face everyone and that our Christian faith shapes how we live, Justin Denholm navigates readers through understanding ethics so that believers can be confident to talk about ethics rather than shy away from the tricky questions. I warmly commend Talking about Ethics because it does what the title says – it talks about ethics in a way that is accessible, useful and easy to understand.
Katy Smith, Lecturer in Old Testament, Bible College SA

Here is a book for all Christians to read. Rightly subtitled Negotiating the Maze, Dr Denholm offers practical advice to engage in ethical conversations in one’s daily life. If you didn’t know where to start when a friend asks you about some moral dilemma, I can think of no better book to begin the process of thinking ethically so that you might better respond to the challenges of moral decision-making.
Glenn N. Davies, Bishop of North SydneyDiocese of Sydney, Anglican Church of Australia

Talking about Ethics is a fantastic resource for Christians keen to engage with the world around them on ethical issues. From understanding the impact of differing worldview and framework on ethical reasoning through to helpful pastoral insights into discussing ethics in an everyday or church context, Dr Denholm demonstrates the value of ethics for every Christian. I felt challenged to think critically about my view on any number of issues, and to better articulate those views with grace and godliness to those around me.
John Quinn, Dean of Residents, New College Village, University of NSW

In a world full of an astonishing diversity of choice and many competing ideologies, it is often hard to find a place to start in the maze of thinking about and making ethical decisions. Justin Denholm’s book has given us just this. It is short, sensitive, sensible and scripturally engaged. For Christians concerned with ethics and with helping others think about it, here is a great place to start.
Andrew Reid, Senior Pastor, Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Doncaster, Victoria


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