Carl Henry on Ethics, Personal and Social

“Forty years ago fundamentalist ethics was largely a catalogue of personal negations (e.g., ‘Don’t smoke,’ ‘Don’t drink,’ ‘Don’t gamble,’ ‘Don’t patronize Hollywood film-fare’), though by hindsight one must now concede that what then often seemed to impinge on individual liberty today has prudence on its side.” In contrast, “some evangelicals now define sin almost entirely in terms of social injustice. Premarital sex is common. Church discipline is lax or nonexistent. Divorce and remarriage snares even the clergy. The idea that spiritual and moral foundations are basic and essential for successful home life seems passé.”

Carl F. H. Henry, Twilight of a Great Civilization (Crossway, 1988), 166, 172; from a chapter entitled “The Uneasy Conscience Revisited.”

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