Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Can Atheists Be Moral? That’s the Wrong Question

Occasionally you will hear people question whether an atheist can be a moral person. But is this the right question to be asking?

Can an Atheist be Moral? Of Course, but that is the Wrong Question

As Christians we know that the moral law comes from a Creator God, and some think that those who reject Him are therefore unable to to have good morals. In an effort to address the worldview of atheism, some will suggest that an atheist is incapable of being a moral person. But is this true? Is this even the question we should be asking?

As we begin to examine this issue, note that we're referring to a person's ability to be moral in a practical, everyday sense. Theologically, we understand that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). No person who has not been redeemed by the blood of Christ can be considered moral in a spiritual sense. This is as true of the atheist as it is of the person who sits in church every week in an attempt to earn their salvation apart from God's grace. For our purposes, "moral" is being defined as being able to distinguish right from wrong and make choices that we would recognize as "good."

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christianity Today's 2015 Book Awards

Some of the finest books pull us deeper into familiar subjects—biographies of great statesmen, say, or fresh takes on the essentials of Christian doctrine and discipleship. Others introduce us to people, places, and ideas about which we know very little, if anything. Last year, I finally discovered Laura Hillenbrand's epic World War II survival story, Unbroken. Going in, I'd never heard of her protagonist, the indomitable prisoner of war Louis Zamperini. Now, I won't soon forget him.

It's like that with our current crop of book awards, which pursue paths both old and new. One of the victory nods goes to a new study of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. You've perhaps heard a thing or two about him. And like always, we honor plenty of volumes touching on the Bible, the church, and perennial matters of faith. But hopefully, we'll also inspire at least some readers to acquaint themselves with abolitionists Hannah More and Sarah Grimke, or the philosopher Charles Taylor (and his penetrating look at our "secular age").

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