At a time when society seems ever more confused about the meaning of right and wrong — or even if we should believe in such absolutes — Biola University and the Colson Center for Christian Worldview are urging Christians to stand strong in defense of virtue, ethics and moral living.
That’s why on Feb. 5, more than 700 people packed into a sold-out Sutherland Auditorium for the “Do the Right Thing” mini-conference, featuring speakers Chuck Colson, Sean McDowell (’98, M.A. '03), John Stonestreet, Scott Rae (professor of philosophy of religion and ethics), and Frank Pastore (M.A. ’94).
Born out of the partnership between Biola and the Colson Center, the Saturday morning event was the first stop on the multi-city “Doing the Right Thing” tour, which also made stops in cities like Dallas and Chicago this spring. The tour was held in conjunction with the release of a six-part DVD series exploring ethics in a variety of cultural arenas (business, government, bioethics, etc.).
After an introduction from President Barry H. Corey, the event began with Chuck Colson, former special counsel for Richard Nixon and founder of Prison Fellowship, who outlined the importance of advocating for objective truth, morality and ethics.
“If we are going to have any chance of surviving as a free nation, we have to have a restoration of ethics on the part of the people,” said Colson. “Freedom cannot be sustained without the cultivation of virtue.”
Colson also praised Biola for standing up for a biblical worldview, saying that as an institution strongly committed to applying biblical Christianity in all areas of life, Biola University was “unparalleled.”
Alumnus Sean McDowell followed Colson and spoke about subjective and objective truth. Before we can begin to argue for what’s right, he said, we have to make the case that a “right” even exists. McDowell pointed out that even though some people claim that objective morality doesn’t exist, “everyone wants to be treated as if morality was an objective feature of the universe.”
Other speakers included John Stonestreet, executive director of Summit Ministries, who spoke about how we cultivate virtue in our lives and in society, and Talbot School of Theology professor Scott Rae, who spoke specifically about bioethical concerns and the need to protect infants, the unborn and the elderly at a time when things like euthanasia and eugenics are increasingly normalized.
The event at Biola, hosted in partnership with KKLA, came on the heels of a series of lectures on Friday by Eric Metaxas, author of the acclaimed new Dietrich Bonhoeffer biography, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. Metaxas spoke on campus in chapel and at the president’s faculty luncheon about Bonhoeffer, who famously stood up to the Nazis and did the right thing in his day, suffering martyrdom because of it.