Making decisions about relationships with other people is a vital element in Christian living. Both personal issues and social concerns are appropriately examined from that perspective.

Christians have no monopoly on such ethical concerns, however. Many other people think just as seriously about values and obligations as do Christians, and they have just as strong a sense of ethical compulsion. We turn, therefore, to a discussion of some of the most viable alternatives to Christian ethics current in American society. Rather than examining classical ethical philosophical systems, we are examining some ways of the stances characteristic of people in our day. While the representatives of the approaches that we cite are not necessarily formative thinkers, they are people who give clear statements of the ways in which many people live.