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8 - Toward a Theology of a Redeemed Conscience

from Part II - Conscience According to Major Figures and Traditions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 June 2021

Jeffrey B. Hammond
Affiliation:
Faulkner University
Helen M. Alvare
Affiliation:
George Mason University, Virginia
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Summary

Jeffrey Hammond outlines a biblical theology of conscience. A Christian conscience is an ever-growing, recalibrating capacity of the regenerated (converted) person. Then, through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, the Christian can seek to fulfill the great commands of the New Testament: to love God and love the neighbor. Working out these commands involves judgment of what to do in any given situation. However, in making any difficult judgment, the Christian is always aided by the “still, small” voice of the Holy Spirit, counselors, prayer, and the certain knowledge that the conscientious decision will always line up with the will of God as revealed in the Word of God. The redeemed conscience is one that is both bound and freed. The Christian is bound to follow the moral instruction in the New Testament, but at the same time, she is also freed to do it. The redeemed conscience is one that judges and will be judged by the God who perceives the deliberations of all consciences. The Christian, however, sensitive to the Spirit in both deciding and acting, can rest upon her decisions with a sense of equanimity and peace, knowing that she has faithfully exercised her conscience.

Type
Chapter
Information
Christianity and the Laws of Conscience
An Introduction
, pp. 152 - 169
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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References

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Dreisbach, Daniel L., and Hall, Mark David, eds. The Sacred Rights of Conscience: Selected Readings on Religious Liberty and Church-State Relations in the American Founding. Indianapolis, in: Liberty Fund, 2009.Google Scholar
Foxgrover, David. “Conscience.” In The Westminster Handbook to Reformed Theology, edited by McKim, Donald K.. Louisville, ky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001: 4142.Google Scholar
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Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Comm’n, 138 S.Ct. 1719 (2018).Google Scholar
Ojakangas, Mika. The Voice of Conscience: A Political Genealogy of Western Ethical Experience. New York, ny: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013.Google Scholar
Sorabji, Richard. Moral Conscience through the Ages: Fifth Century BCE to the Present. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Strohm, Paul. Conscience: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zachman, Randall C. The Assurance of Faith: Conscience in the Theology of Martin Luther and John Calvin. Minneapolis, mn: Fortress Press, 1993.Google Scholar

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