Recently I was reminded of the typical protestant reaction to a non-Christian claiming they are a ‘good person’. I’m rarely happy with how our teachers seize on the claim. It almost comes across as propaganda to me.
I agree having a trusting relationship with Jesus is paramount and no amount of good works can secure forgiveness of sins.
However why discourage the practice of what is good and beneficial for our world? Why give the impression good works have absolutely no value? Is their position salvation and nothing else?
Personally I’m happy to encourage non-believers in what is good. If they claim to do good things, great. However I will make sure they understand that only accepting Jesus as their risen king and accepting the forgiveness he has achieved on the cross will secure a relationship with God.
How people understand what a good person is these days is an interesting question. Likewise this article went viral when it first came out. It has some really encouraging stuff, but at least one significant let down. Also I wrote a word study on good.
Here is the essence of virtue ethics: character produces behavior. Even more: a good character acts out in goodness. Virtue ethics, to be sure, contends that habits produce the character that then lives the good life. But what is a good person? Dallas Willard and Gary Black, Jr., in The Divine Conspiracy Continued, in their pivotal chapter for leaders called “moral knowledge,” sketch what a good person is.
Read more of this post here: Jesus Creed