Virtue as We Enter the New Dark Ages

Virtue as We Enter the New Dark Ages
The Word at Westminster
The Word at Westminster
Virtue as We Enter the New Dark Ages

Virtue feels a bit out of place these days. Like a ninth grade student who has wandered into a party and isn’t sure if they’re in the right house, Virtue is a bit gangly and awkward, and surrounded by a bunch of people who are just trying to “seize the day.”

Their master Impulse would prefer it if Virtue just turned around and left.

The word itself means “moral excellence.” That sounds like a good thing. But today, people often use it as a sneer. ‘So-and-so is so virtuous.’ The tone suggests that being virtuous is like being judgmental, or acting as if you are better than someone else. And we certainly don’t want that.

It’s also fashionable to talk about how broken we all are. That makes sense. After all, it’s true. As Paul reminds us in Romans 3:23, “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” To speak of virtue can come across as self-righteous, or even arrogant—and that certainly doesn’t seem virtuous.

Hmm, a conundrum. What’s to be done?

Well, the truth helps.

We are called to growth and holiness. God says, “Be holy, as I am holy” (Leviticus 11:44, 1 Peter 1:16). This is why I think discussions about virtue are due for a comeback, at least in Christian circles. Virtue, rightly understood, and when placed in the context of discipleship, is an element of becoming more like Christ.

In this post and podcast, I’m going to share a few thoughts about how and why I think that is so. It’s a big topic. I don’t pretend to be comprehensive. But I do hope to share some food for thought for those who think that Christlikeness actually matters.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *