How Should I Live in This World by R.C. Sproul is a primer on ethics. The author settles the chief ethical question at the beginning of the book: “There is a right and there is a wrong. The difference between them is the concern of ethics … Ultimately we seek a knowledge of the character of God, whose holiness is to be reflected in the patterns of our behavior. With God there is a definite and absolute black and white.” Sproul’s approach is refreshing in a world that is awash with moral relativism, situational ethics and pragmatism.
The author makes it clear that the basis for Christian ethics is divine revelation: “We assert boldly that God has revealed to us who He is, who we are and how we are expected to relate to Him.” He continues by demonstrating the consequence of abandoning God’s Word: “The departure from divine revelation has brought our culture to chaos in the area of ethics. We have lost our basis of knowledge, our epistemological foundation, for discovering the good.” This commitment to autonomy is the seed bed of sin. When the creature rebels and declares independence from the Creator, he commits cosmic treason.
The remainder of the book examines several ethical questions of special concern to Christ-followers including materialism, capital punishment, abortion, and the conscience. How Should I Live in This World is a needed reminder in a day that is drowning in ungodly worldviews. Students especially should be encouraged to read Sproul’s short book and interact with these crucial questions. One will be challenged to embrace the principle of Sola Scriptura. Indeed, Scripture is our highest authority.