The Regenerated Moral Consciousness

But what then of the regenerated moral consciousness? In the first place the regenerated consciousness is once more in principle restated to its former place. This implies that we can go to it because we could originally go to it for our answers. This is of basic importance for it furnishes the point of contact between Christian and non-Christian ethics. As Christians we do not maintain that man’s moral consciousness cannot under any circumstances and in any sense serve as a point of reference. But man’s moral consciousness must be regenerated in order to serve as a  reference point. Moreover the regenerated consciousness is still finite. It must still live by revelation as it originally lived by revelation. It can never become an ultimate information bureau. Finally, the regenerated moral consciousness is changed in principle only, and therefore often errs. Consequently it must constantly seek to test itself by Scripture. More than that, the regenerated consciousness does not in itself fabricate any answers to the moral questions. It receives them and reworks them. Now if this receiving, in so far as it implies an activity of the mind, be called the function of the moral consciousness, we may speak of it as a source of information. The regenerated moral consciousness which constantly nourishes itself upon the Scripture is as the plenipotentiary who knows fairly well what his authority desires.

(Van Til, The Defense of the Faith, 55)

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