“Their argument has been this: That what you need to do to confront this moral problem, this whole business of temptation and evil, is to instruct people. Instruct them in goodness. They believe (and still believe it obviously) that if you educate people, you’ll make them moral. If you only teach people philosophy and get them familiarized with the great thoughts, the moral maxims… Get them to rub their minds against these and gradually they will come to live a good life. That’s the basis of the teaching. Teach them about heroism; teach them about courage. Hold these great ideals before them and they will rise up to it…

“They turned their back on godliness and the Bible. What were they teaching? They were talking about goodness and beauty and truth. These were the things emphasized by the great philosophers and therefore what you needed to do was tell people about goodness and beauty and truth, and they would all respond and rise up to it. You didn’t need all this ‘folklore’ and all this ‘semi-magic’ of the miracles and about an atoning death of the Son of God and all that. You shed all that; you’ve outgrown all that. Now of course you are just going to worship goodness and beauty and truth. So you don’t go to church on Sunday. You go to an art gallery or you go out into the country and look at the sea or a sunset, and you read beautiful poetry and beautiful literature, and thus you gradually build up yourself with this wonderful idealistic view of life…

“Oh, what a profound book this Bible is! If the authorities only read it and understood it… They don’t believe in sin any longer. They don’t believe in the fall of man… Their endeavors come to nothing and less than nothing… The problem is the problem of man in sin, with his mind and heart and conscience defiled, twisted, perverted. And the more you ‘educate’ him, the more you encourage the evil that is in him. You increase his cleverness, his ingenuity of doing it all. As if to have knowledge could solve the problem of temptation. As if the great philosophers never sinned…

“How sad it is; how tragic it is.”

— Martyn Lloyd-Jones, on moral education outside of Scripture, excerpts from his “Citizens of Heaven” sermon