How can Christians shift moral consensus?
Acton Institute Powerblog

How can Christians shift moral consensus?

“Moral Consensus is a great goal for the moral fabric of a nation, except for one slight problem,” says Kyle Ferguson, “moral consensus tends to shift over time.” How then do Christians shift the moral consensus back in our direction? Fersuson argues that the answer lies in the gospel:

Debate is a start but it will be ineffective to bring about moral change. Politics will certainly fail as has been demonstrated time and time again over the last century. The answer lies in the Hope of the Gospel. As the Gospel impacts the lives of individuals and as they begin living out the Hope that they have, their lives are transformed and people begin to wonder why. Simply put: Gospel living is better. But this assumes that those who know the Gospel will live it out culturally, socially, publicly, and so on. Far too many Gospel-believing individuals have accepted this culture’s moral foundation of personal liberty, allowing them to think “the gospel is good for me.” This individualistic way of thinking is quite American, but it is also part of the problem. The Gospel is not simply good for me, it’s good for everyone. As individuals have shifted away from the perspective that the Gospel is good for everyone, moral consensus has shifted as well. The way to reverse the trend of moral shift is to reverse our individualistic approach to the Gospel and begin to think of the Gospel as the solution to the world’s need. People tend to establish their foundation for moral consensus on what works, and if those who believe the Gospel will only live their faith publicly, the greater society will see that Biblically moral works and works better.

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Joe Carter

Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).