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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Natural Law for Evangelicals

I think that Stephen J. Grabill makes an excellent case for Evangelicals to look more closely and speak more firmly about Natural Law:

 The challenge for pro-life Evangelicals is to develop systematic moral reasoning that can be applied to a range of issues including embryo adoption, human embryonic stem-cell research, ART, “therapeutic cloning,” genetic engineering, and birth control. Evangelicals tend to be pragmatic, wedding political activism with biblical appeals, but this has resulted in moral reflection operating on a mostly private and intuitive plane. The tragic pitfall with this style of ethical decision-making is that adverse spiritual and moral consequences often go undetected.

I can cite two things: the lack of a unifying voice of authority, like the Magisterium of the Catholic Church (ordinary or papal), and this unhealthy paranoia suffered by many Evangelicals about the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. Shunning what is said just because the speaker is a Catholic leader should not prevent Christians from examining what is spoken -- which is avowed to be spoken in the name of Christ. Thankfully, there are also those Protestants who are willing to look into the Catholic Church, encyclicals and all, with an analytical but open (and prayerful) mind. For example, the Lutherans behind the Journal of Lutheran Ethics were willing to examine the recent encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI. I pray that more Protestants would do the same and be assured that, guided by the Holy Spirit, they may "test all things, hold fast to what is good" (1 Thess 5:21). They might just find that everything pronnounced (to the universal Church, on faith and morals) by the Magisterium (not just any Catholic leader) is too good to ignore after all. ;-)

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