In a recent article for, Tim Keller writes: “The contemporary preacher of orthodox Christianity faces an unprecedented dilemma. Despite what you would think from a casual perusal of any video store, bookstore or magazine rack, we do not live in an immoral society—one in which right and wrong are clearly understood and wrong behavior is chosen. We live in an amoral society—one in which ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ are categories with no universal meaning, and everyone ‘does what is right in his or her own eyes.’

“Whether things are worse today than in other periods from an objective point of view—more sins committed, more laws broken—is debatable, but an amoral age presents a problem for preachers who want to expound faithfully God’s Word on ethics, morality and behavior.

“In the early 20th century, skeptics rejected Christianity because it wasn’t true—’miracles cannot be.’ Today, skeptics reject Christianity because it even claims to be true—’absolutes cannot be.’ Modernity (the mindset of the late 19th and early 20th centuries) said that moral absolutes could be discovered only by human reason and research. Postmodernity now says there are no moral absolutes to discover…

“In the past, Christian moral absolutes were seen as simply narrow or old-fashioned, but today they are seen as oppressive and even violent.

“In America, this amoral society is only now arriving in its fullness. Baby Boomers were supposedly the first relativistic generation, but most boomers were raised in traditional religion. The next generation is making the sea change. Their understanding is the new hard relativism of identity politics.

“In such a new and confusing situation, what is a Christian preacher to say?”

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