In April, we read this book as part of our monthly Apologia ministry where we read and discuss a book each month dealing with apologetics, philosophy, or theology. If you're in Okinawa, you should consider joining us sometime for the reading and discussion.
The authors start the book by showing just how pervasive moral relativism has spread in the Western world. Indeed, it has become the predominant and default worldview of the masses. In this worldview, morality is reduced to personal tastes. Therefore, a favorite question posed by this group is, "who are you to judge?". This is the worldview that has provided to the fertile soil for the decay of morals, the abortion boom, freewheeling sexual escapades, and on and on... But there's a major problem with such a worldview: one can't possibly live out this belief system and follow it to it's logical conclusion.
For example, as the authors put it,
"For to deny the existence of universally objective moral distinctions, one must admit that Mother Teresa was no more or less moral than Adolf Hitler, that torturing three-year-olds for fun is neither good nor evil, that giving 10 percent of one's financial surplus to an invalid is neither praiseworthy nor condemnable, that raping a woman is neither right nor wrong, and that providing food and shelter for one's spouse and children is neither a good thing nor a bad thing (pg. 13)."
While it may be a good idea 'in theory', say for example, to excuse ourselves and appease our consciences for our particular sins, in practice moral relativism rings hollow. As C.S. Lewis said, "We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful."
The fact is, as the authors point out, people don't really believe this worldview. If you were to punch a moral relativist in the face, or steal her purse, that person would innately feel wronged and would most likely cry, "foul!" Indeed, this innate sense of write and wrong is part of God's gift to us as moral agents created in His image (read Romans 1).
The authors go on to show the pervasive nature of this worldview in the public spheres of education and public policy making. Ideas are not without consequences however. As I once heard Ravi Zaccarias once say, "The Killing Fields of Cambodia were first seeded by the thoughts and writings of Camus." There must be a resistance to the massive flood of moral relativism and it's pending moral, spiritual, and cultural devastation to come.
Finally, the authors give the reader some tactics to begin to engage and refute this worldview. As it turns out, to do so is not so difficult after all. One must merely think through the logical conclusions of the worldview, ask questions, and point out inconsistencies.
I would highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to think clearly, honor God with their minds, and engage a world that seeks to destroy its moral compass.