How To Make Moral Decisions -- By: David Cook

Journal: Faith and Mission
Volume: FM 24:4 (NA 2008)
Article: How To Make Moral Decisions
Author: David Cook

How To Make Moral Decisions

David Cook

Fellow at Green College, Oxford University
Holmes Professor of Faith and Learning, Wheaton College

I am a hit-and-run speaker. You come and you hit people and then you run away. Then you really worry. You are worried about the people who have to come and pick up the pieces afterwards. I have to tell you this morning, I’m not at all worried because I met with your faculty yesterday, and you are fortunate people. Because they’ll be able, not just to pick up the pieces, but to build something really worthwhile.

I want us to read together from God’s Word. I want us to read from Matthew, a very well-known passage. Let the Scripture really soak into our hearts and minds, reading from Matthew 5 beginning at verse 13. Jesus says, “You are the salt of the earth, but if a salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It’s no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden, neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on a stand and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light so shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your father in heaven.” Amen. God always blesses the reading of His Word.

I began lecturing in the Holy Land, which you all know is Scotland. Now, Scottish people are very, very polite. I would go in the morning and I would say to the students, “Good morning,” and they would say, “Good morning, sir.” They spell it c-u-r. That’s the way they spell in Scotland. Then, as I told you yesterday, I moved to the Midlands of Great Britain to an Episcopalian college. That was a depressing experience, probably as much for them as for me. I would go in to lecture, and I would say to the students, “Good morning.” They would all ignore me. Then I moved to Oxford, the city of the dreaming spires. They tell me that we have some of the finest intellects of the world who gather together in the lecture theater. I would go in to them, and I would say to them, “Good morning.” And they would all write it down.

Yesterday we were looking at how people outside the church in our secularized society make moral decisions, and how they approach issues of life and death. Today I want to think how we as Christians properly use God’s Word. There are people who use what I call the Little Jack Horner method. They put in their thumb, and they pull out a plum. They forget about the strawberries, the pineapple, the fullness of God’s Word. God has not left us without guidance and direction. He’s given us the gift and the grace of His Holy S...

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