Moore College’s Centre for Christian Living hosted Christian ethicist Dr David VanDrunen, from Westminster Theological Seminary in the USA, at the recent CCL event “Virtue in an age of virtue signalling”. The event was held at Moore College on the evening of Wednesday 7 June, and was attended by students, faculty and guests.
Dr VanDrunen began his talk by clarifying the concept of virtue as a habit or character trait that inclines a person to think and act in specific ways. “Virtue equals moral habits that dispose us to think, feel and act in good moral ways. It characterises the kind of person you are,” he explained.
Addressing the interconnection of virtue with intellect, Dr VanDrunen stressed, “We are thinking creatures, but sin affects our minds. If we think poorly, everything suffers.” He underscored the necessity of intellectual virtues, such as prudence, wisdom and circumspection, to reorient minds towards good.
Virtue also directs our passions or emotions, he went on to say. He explained how virtues could help us channel our feelings and reactions constructively, even when they come upon us unexpectedly. For instance, courage allows us to experience fear and respond to it in the right way.
Furthermore, he pointed out, “The way God has made us, we act according to how we think and feel. Having virtues makes doing the right thing easier, more natural, and enjoyable!”
In the second part of his talk, Dr VanDrunen highlighted the importance of virtue: “God cares not just about what we do, but about the kind of people we are,” he shared, citing examples from Proverbs and Galatians. He stressed the complicated nature of human life, which necessitates becoming virtuous people, instead of merely following rules.
The seminar included a conversation between Dr VanDrunen and CCL Director Dr Chase Kuhn, along with time for questions from the audience.
Dr Kuhn expressed gratitude for Dr VanDrunen’s valuable contributions: “We feel truly privileged to have Dr VanDrunen with us. His insights into virtue and its role in our lives have enriched our understanding and deepened our commitment to living godly lives.”
Dr VanDrunen followed his time at Moore College with talks in Canberra with federal parliamentarians and the Lachlan Macquarie Institute.
For more resources from the Centre for Christian Living, including articles, podcasts, and previous and upcoming events, please visit ccl.moore.edu.au.
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