Reformed Reflections

Moral Standards

Book Review

People seem to like labelling decades. What to call the 1990's? Good Housekeeping magazine editors decided they wanted them to be known as the "Decency Decade." I suppose this title is as good as any. But what is decency? By what standards do we judge morals? So far the 1990's have not shown any remarkable moral improvement. The opposite is true. 0ur society is characterized by moral relativism. Public opinion shapes behaviour. We are told to find the yardstick for our norms in our communities. But public opinion and community standards change. And what aggravates the downward trend in morals is the attitude -the present alone is real. Don't think about the consequences of today's actions. Our times have become confusing for both parents and youth. But help is available. More books than ever- both scholarly and popular- are being published to help Christians think through today's issues. Just recently I was sent a book that I thought was particularly helpful. It is short, well written and thoroughly Biblical in approach. The author of Not By Bread Alone. God's Word on Present Issues. Dr. Broughton Knox, THE BANNER OF TRUTH, was for many years Principal of Moore Theological College, Sydney, Australia. Since it is a short paperback you won't find in-depth analyses of ethical issues, but rather brief discussions on topics ranging from The Basis of Punishment, Race, Money, Sex, Sunday observance to Motives for Christian Living. Knox's passion is God's holiness and His revealed will for our lives. He points out that if Christians tamper with the Word of God they will witness a decline of faith and morals. Knox observes, "Any view of the Bible which mingles it with unreliable elements strikes at the very basis of the Christian faith. We may be thankful that God has given us, in the Bible, his inerrant Word, the instrument through which he calls us to faith and obedience, and through which he moulds in us the character of Christ." If we live by the light of Scripture, we will not only find ourselves in fellowship with the living God in Christ; we will also know how we ought to walk before Him.

We are constantly faced with moral choices. How do we apply Biblical standards? You will find in Knox's book meaningful and wise counsel.

Johan D. Tangelder