Journey into Goodness

How can a people living in a supposedly common culture be so divided on something as fundamental as goodness?

If you ask a person what the word “good” means, they’d most likely look at you like you’re either crazy or a simpleton. After all, everyone knows what good means. Right? So, why is there so much angst in our world today about what is good? The conflict coursing through almost every aspect of our society is heated like a furnace with the temperature ascending toward white hot. Consider public policy over immigration, the environment, education and school curriculum, sexual ethics, gender ideology, DEI, ESG, abortion, and freedom of speech to name a few. Whatever view one takes on these issues, it’s fair to say that the person sincerely believes they are seeking the “good” with the view they hold. In short, we are deeply divided about what “good” means as applied to the world we share.

As a Christian, I seek to understand the world through God and his word. I will be unraveling the thread to this issue through a number of short essays seeking to examine and understand goodness from God’s perspective. If your curious, please follow along with me.

Today, I want to begin the journey with a secular understanding of goodness as provided by a generally accepted secular source. Among the definitions given by Merriam-Webster, good means “something conforming to the moral order of the universe, praiseworthy character.”

Ah, we immediately see the dilemma. Webster associates goodness with a moral order of the universe. The degree to which people hold disparate views on the moral order of the universe will result in a corresponding variance on their conception of the “good.” It’s interesting that a secular source would ascribe a moral order to the universe as the standard for goodness. To the secularist, there is no objective absolute moral order to the universe. This gives explanation to why the secularist conception of “good” can seem incoherent to Christians. It’s unmoored to any absolute foundation of goodness, yet at the same time, clings to a faint residue of a mysterious moral order.

Since we’re living in what Aaron Renn refers to as a Negative World where Christian views are held in distain by the secular institutional powers, it’s imperative that we understand how these powers see goodness. This first observation helps Christians understand why our culture is at odds on something as fundamental as goodness.

My next essay will explore what God and his word have to say about goodness. Please follow to join me in my journey of the good.

1 thought on “Journey into Goodness

Comments are closed.