Teaching Objective Morality to a Postmodern Audience
By Ryan C. MacPherson, Ph.D.
Chapter 5 in Here We Stand: A Confessional Christian Study of Worldviews, edited by Curtis A. Jahn, with an introduction by David C. Thompson (Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 2010), 127-75.
Moral Skepticism (the denial of all objective foundations for ethics) pervades our culture and is characteristic of postmodernism. Dr. MacPherson analyzes three basic strains of Moral Skepticism: Nihilism, Subjectivism, and Relativism. He then compares these to Ethical Objectivism—the view that universal moral standards exist independently of our opinions concerning them. This presentation introduces rational arguments that meet proponents of Moral Skepticism on their own terms, expose their fallacious reasoning, and defend Ethical Objectivism. A final section explores the distinctive roles of Law and Gospel in the Christian worldview, highlighting both the advantages and the limitations of natural law.
“The presentation of moral philosophy by Dr. MacPherson is very clear and evangelical. He handles the topic in a straightforward manner. Evangelism is an obvious concern of Dr. MacPherson and reaching out to the moral skeptic is a strong subtheme of the chapter.” Pastor Timothy A. Hartwig, Lutheran Synod Quarterly 50, no. 4 (Dec. 2010): 370.