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A couple summers ago, our church heard a sermon from a guest speaker, Andy Naselli, a pastor and a professor at Bethlehem Seminary. He spoke on the topic of the conscience and what the Bible has to say about it. I admit, I was surprised that the Bible had anything to say about the conscience and found the sermon helpful, enlightening and intriguing.

This week, Andy released a book on this subject (with co-author J.D. Crowley) and, given the importance of this topic, I now find myself surprised that no one has written a book like this before. Why not?

It comes down to this: In any given Christian church, any given Christian family, or any given pair of Christian people, individuals find themselves regularly differing on what is right and wrong on any number of topics.

If you think of anyone you know – no matter how close your worldview and theology is to that person’s – I’m guessing you can easily think of an ethical matter where you disagree.

Ethical matters such as –
What kind of secular music should you listen to, if any?
How much alcohol should you drink?
How should you spend your money?
How much time should you spend on Facebook? Should you work on a Sunday? Which words are swear words that no Christian should ever utter? And on and on and on. And many of them regarding subjects that the Bible doesn’t directly touch on.

You listen to your conscience about how to decide what is wrong. Your Christian brother or sister listens to their conscience. Your consciences are certain to disagree at time. Sometimes we can live and let live with that disagreement between each other. But sometimes those disagreements cause conflict. And anger. And division. In your church and family.

Wouldn’t you like to know what the Bible has to say about how to handle those disagreements? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a resource which includes a full survey of all the Bible has to say about the conscience?

You can. Read the book!

Here are some other topics addressed in this important and necessary book:
• How should you interact with your own conscience?
• How is interacting with other cultures, especially when bringing the gospel to these cultures, affected by cultural differences in consciences?
• How are unbelievers affected by their consciences and how should you interact with them?
• What does Paul mean by “strong” and “weak” Christians and how should they relate with each other?
• What does it mean for a conscience to be seared, or clear, or defiled, or perfected, or purified or missing?

I encourage you to get a copy, read it and use it in pursuit of God’s glory and the good of others.

By the way, with the Facebook question, the correct answer is ‘no more than 11.75 minutes a day.’

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April 2016