The word “conscience” isn’t talked about too much anymore. We’ve come a long way from Jiminy Cricket’s admonition to his flying elephant friend, Dumbo: “Let your conscience be your guide.” We hear about shame, and confession, and speaking truth, but we don’t hear as much about the idea of a personal conscience, that inner voice that tells you whether an action or a contemplated action is good or bad.
“In the classical sense,” writes R.C. Sproul in How Can I Develop a Christian Conscience?, “the conscience was thought to be something that God implanted within our minds. Some people even went so far as to describe the conscience as the voice of God within us.” But the changes in culture have brought a different, and relativistic understanding of what the conscience is – something which developed with evolution to deal with various taboos but which now can be safely discarded because we’re so beyond that. We’re liberated. And free.
No wonder the conscience has fallen on hard times.
In this short work on conscience, Sproul explains why there is a 1question about conscience, how it developed from the creation ordinances in the Bible, the pact of the so-called moral revolution, how our understanding of the conscience is distorted by both a legalistic view and lawless view. And then asks whether there are degrees of sin and degrees of righteousness, and how our answers to those questions is critical to developing a Christian conscience.
Sproul is the author of numerous books, articles, sermons, and speeches on Christianity, church history, theology, Calvinism, and related topics. He leads the teaching fellowship Ligonier Ministries, based in Sanford, Florida. The Crucial Questions series now includes some 25 topics which are free as eBooks, and volume on conscience is a part of the series.
How Can I Develop a Christian Conscience? is s short but impactful treatise on a subject of concern to all Christians.
Top photograph by Ian Espinosa via Unsplash. Used with permission.