Original Research

A Reformed assessment of George Lindbeck’s ecclesial ethics

Junseop Kim
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 39, No 1 | a1813 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v39i1.1813 | © 2018 Junseop Kim | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 October 2017 | Published: 16 May 2018

About the author(s)

Junseop Kim, Department of Dogmatics and Christian Ethics, University of Pretoria, South Africa


Lindbeck’s theology can be defined as an ecclesiology. For the ultimate concern in his life and thoughts is an ecclesiastical one. His ecclesial ethics is based on his ecclesiology. It has two aspects: the intra-systematic view of truth and the cultural-linguistic view of religion. From a Reformed viewpoint, it attempts to overcome theological liberals’ universalistic and reductionist tendency by emphasising the particularity of religions. It also focuses on the -intra-textual and performative aspects of Christian ethics. Its notion of incommensurability, however, has difficulty in explaining the continuity between the world of the Bible and the extrabiblical world, and between religions. In contrast, Reformed theology can solve the problem by using the idea of revelatory continuity.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implication: As a Reformed intradisciplinary assessment on George Lindbeck’s ecclesial ethics, this article maintains that his notion of incommensurability finds it difficult to explain the continuity between the world of the Bible and the extrabiblical world, and between religions, and that a Reformed idea of revelatory continuity can be its solution.


George Lindbeck; Ecclesiology; Reformed Theology; Ecclesial Ethics; Incommensurability


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