Stephen Long opens his erudite discussion of theology and ethics with the insistence that moral critique must emerge from a particular location, rather than from the fluid values of any "neutral" observer.
Long sets out to put theology and ethics--as well as the church--in proper relation to one another. Ethics must be based in theology, not the other way around. Our "finite participation in the infinite makes possible participation in a goodness beyond us." That goodness comes to us in the flesh of Jesus Christ, and the church is indispensable in drawing all people toward God's goodness. The church, a social ethic in itself, gives purpose and order to other social institutions, including family, government, and the market.