Periodical Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 136:541 (Jan 1979)
Article: Periodical Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Periodical Reviews

“Is the New Morality Destroying America?” Clare Booth Luce, The Human Life Review (Room 540, 150 E. 35th St., New York, NY 10016) 4 (Summer 1978): 4-16.

“Religion Up, Morality Down,” Charles Colson, Christianity Today (465 Gundersen Dr., Carol Stream, IL 60187), July 21, 1978, pp. 26-28.

These two articles are reviewed together because they discuss a common issue, the state of moral health of contemporary American society. Both authors report America’s moral pulse as weak, its moral temperature as feverish, its moral health as worsening. However, neither diagnostician considers the illness as terminal. Their prognosis is filled with encouragement and hope that the trend can be arrested and reversed so that American society will return to the moral strength and vigor it once knew.

Mrs. Luce’s article is a speech she was requested to give to the IBM “Golden Circle Conference.” This in itself is interesting, if not significant, that a business organization would express such concern about “the condition of morality in the United States.” Mrs. Luce explains that the program producer not only requested but insisted that she talk “on a subject related to morals.” That is a good sign.

Mrs. Luce defines “the new morality” as the position “that all morals are ‘relative,’ and all ethics are ‘situational.’“ She presents evidence to show that this perspective is gaining ascendancy in American life and that as it prevails it is destroying America. Later she declares, “There is no doubt that what most Americans mean when they speak of ‘the new morality’ is the ‘new’ sexual morality which holds that ‘anything goes’ between consenting adults in private—and that almost anything also goes in public.”

This destruction of American life and society proceeds seemingly unabated in the face of a growing revival of interest in Christianity. This is the point that Colson makes, that at the very time some are hailing “the arrival of the ‘Third Great Awakening’“ America is also experiencing a steady decline in public and private morality. He quotes George Gallup after a recent survey, “Religion is increasing its influence on society, but morality is losing its influence. The secular world would seem to offer abundant evidence that religion is not greatly affecting our lives.” If lives are genuinely being transformed by faith in Jesus Christ, where is the impact in society? Perhaps much of the profession is only that. Perhaps too many Christians are permitting the world to pour them into its mold instead of truly being metamorphosized in lifestyle as well as in heart....

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