The Theology of Evangelical Moralism: How the Church Promotes Moralism

This paper aims to understand the nature of christian moralism and its theological foundations in the evangelical church. Much of the spiritual formation movement has sought to provide an alternative to behavioristic moralism in the church. This paper seeks to better understand (1) the nature of moralism as a counterfeit gospel, and (2) the theological foundations for moralism. The main argument of the paper is that what typically accounts for an understanding of the message of the gospel in evangelical churches today is a perfect catalyst for moralism to flourish. While many churches aim to fight legalism, they are simultaneously, inadvertently promoting a shame based moralism as the antidote. The paper concludes with alternative approaches that can address the dangers of moralism.

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