New Testament ethics holds that loving (God and human neighbor, at least, but maybe the rest of creation as well) is sufficient for fulfilling moral obligations. This could be taken in weaker and stronger ways. The weaker view is that:
- Necessarily, anyone who fails morally fails in loving all.
- Necessarily, every moral failure constitutes a failure in loving all.
I prefer the stronger view. I don't think the New Testament claims are merely claims about moral failings being correlated, even necessarily so, with failures in love. Given that God is love itself, and we are in God's image and likeness, it is quite plausible that (2) is true.
If this is right, then we can give a sketch of the sorts of questions we would want to answer to get a Christian ethics.
- What is the modality in the "Necessarily" in (2)?
- Why is (2) true? (Is it a brute truth? Is it true in virtue of a divine command? Is it true in virtue of our nature? Etc.)
- What is it to love?
- Are there any restrictions on the quantifiers in the "all" of (2)?
- What is it to fail in loving? (Is it the same as to fail to love, or can one fail in loving x while still loving x but not the right way?)
- Analyze which particular actions are constitutive of a failure in love in light of the analysis of love and failure in the Normative Ethics section.
I see my One Body book as tackling some of the questions in the Normative and Applied areas. I wish I had the time and wisdom to handle the other questions. Maybe one day I will at least have the time.