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Knowing Right from Wrong: A Christian Guide to Conscience [Hardcover]

By Thomas D. Williams (Author)
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Item description for Knowing Right from Wrong: A Christian Guide to Conscience by Thomas D. Williams...

Examines how conscience is formed and corrupted and describes how a moral conscience may be achieved through prayer, self-reflection, and by understanding the Bible, natural law, and the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Publishers Description
Father Williams explains how the conscience is formed through our training and experiences and informed by the Holy Spirit, making it an essential tool for daily living. He uses familiar and surprising characters to illustrate the positive choices conscience can direct--and the disaster that results when a conscience is undeveloped or ignored. Questions he tackles include "Is it more important to be smart or good?" "Is there a morally right thing to do in every situation?" and "Is the Christian moral life an exciting adventure, or a necessary burden?" Rich, provocative, and practical for everyday decision making, KNOWING RIGHT FROM WRONG is a must-read for all who hunger for personal holiness.

From Publishers Weekly
Williams, a Catholic priest, ethicist and CBS News Vatican analyst, challenges the popular notion that conscience is always an inerrant guide in this thoughtful look at a timely topic. Proposing that conscience recognizes, but does not determine, good and evil, Williams dissects its role, showing how conscience is "formed" and can even be corrupted. Although he holds that conscience is deserving of respect as that place where a person is alone with God, he says it does not automatically respond correctly and is in need of training through prayer and moral education. Such instruction, he writes, is to be found in the Bible and natural law as well as in the teachings of the Catholic Church. Williams says consciences must be evaluated regularly and offers practical steps to conduct periodic self-tests. He deals with conscientious objection and its application as well. Readers willing to accept or consider the book's basis in Catholic teaching will find this to be an excellent guide for dealing with the panoply of moral choices presented by contemporary culture. (Sept. 18) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: FaithWords
Pages   224
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.08" Width: 6.26" Height: 0.85"
Weight:   0.9 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2008
Publisher   Warner/Faith Books
ISBN  0446582018  
ISBN13  9780446582018  

Availability  7 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 25, 2016 01:37.
Usually ships within one to two business days from New Kensington, PA.
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More About Thomas D. Williams

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! The Rev. Father Thomas David Williams was a priest and author of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His comprehensive "Textual Concordance of the Holy Scriptures: Douay-Rheims Version" is comprised of a carefully compiled arrangement of the scripts of the Holy Bible, categorized by topic. Father Williams' work was originally published in 1908 by the Benziger Brothers, New York, with the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur. It was also printed by TAN in 2010.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Ministry

Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Knowing Right From Wrong (Not Available-Out Of Pri?

This book changes my life. What a beautiful gift from Fr. Thomas.  May 26, 2009
Knowing Right from Wrong is written in everyday language, yet offers deep and powerful wisdom that one can use in every day life. I feel so much closer to Christ after just reading a quarter of the book. I love it. Get one for yourself and one for everyone you know.
Williams' Engaging Christian Guide to Our Own "Christian Guide"   Mar 13, 2009
Standing between roles as theologian and Catholic commentator qualifies Father Thomas Williams to write on human conscience's influence and effect. His recent National Review and National Catholic Register articles on Humanae Vitae's 40th anniversary and the "Catholic" Democratic platform referenced how the "still, small voice" influences human decision.

"Knowing Right From Wrong" suffers from some uneven writing tone, bogging down in a chapter on "conscienous objection" near its end. But Williams' book (subtitled "A Christian Guide to Conscience") teaches invaluable truth on conscience's care, feeding, training, and purpose.

True to his media saavy (he covered Pope John Paul II's passing and Pope Benedict XVI's US visit for CBS-TV), Williams stuffs his book with allegories to isolate conscience-ruled life from morally relative, sand-shifted substitutes. He references pop culture icons Cyndi Lauper and Billy Joel ("Sorry Cyndi, nobody just wants to have needs a purpose."), classic children's tales like "Pinocchio" and "The Snow Queen," films like "Fiddler On The Roof," and "The Godfather"'s infamous last 30 minutes to demonstrate how weakened conscience compartmentalizes and risks our lives and destinies.

Weighing pop culture and psychology against timeless truth, Williams heeds advice given seminal Catholic figure Fulton Sheen as his ministry started: "Keep current, understand what the modern world is thinking about;...then plunge deeply into ...the wisdom of the ancients and you will be able to refute its errors." For Williams this means asserting conscience's roots and necessity against influences from Socrates and Plato (who believed people would do good if they knew it), to still influential athiests Frederich Nietzsche and Sigmund Frued (who argued conscience's moral coaching withheld men from predestined pleasure and power they were to assert.)

To these Williams leverages Christian thinkers from CS Lewis to John Henry Newman to assert conscience's roots in St. Thomas Aquinas' "natural law" betrayed by original sin, restored by Christ, and fortified with prayer, Scripture, conscience examination (where Williams provides practical guidance), and simply "doing the right thing." ("The more we obey conscience, the stronger it gets...Good conscience and good behavior support each other.")

Williams ends each chapter wih questions for study and discussion ("Is it more important to be smart or to be good? Why?"), and personal reflection ("Have you ever been tempted to relativize your own moral conduct? Why? In what areas?"). These may be worth reading before starting each chapter, as they provide themes and reference points to keep information. (An index and fuller bibliography with recommended reading may also have helped.) Overall, "Knowing Right From Wrong" instructs, explains, and defends human conscience, itself guiding moral excellence and coaching trusting followers to Christ and salvation. Recommended.
The need of God  Jan 24, 2009
Most people are unhappy because they have a great void in their lives: They miss God.
God is somebody that loves us always, He forgives us and gives us a second chance. And we must be worthy of Him. How? It is not easy, but we can found the answers in Father Thomas Williams's book. Knowing right from wrong is not too difficult, after all, but we need a guide. This book is a wonderful guide. As Father Thomas explains, we can recognize a wrong behaviour from the very beginning, and individuate the signs. In this way we can act immediately, as we do with an illness: If we treat it from the very beginning we have better chances to recover.
The search for excellence, trying to make the best of ourselves, being better with our family, more ethical in our work, more charitable with our friends... Readers will find all this and more in Father Thomas Williams's book.
It is a book that changed my life, it will change also yours.
Liana Marabini
(Monte-Carlo, Principality of Monaco)
A beautifully written book, but the wrong guide for Christian life  Oct 4, 2008
"Knowing Right From Wrong" is a beautifully written and informative non-fiction work about conscience. Unfortunately, I can't really recommend it because we're supposed to live by the Word of God and His leadership and guidance. Although I don't think this makes the conscience completely obsolete, I don't believe it should get as much attention as it does in this book. Still, Thomas D. Williams, LC, ThD has penned some very poignant moments from his own memories that make this a thoughtful read. This work also includes questions for reflection and study at the end of each chapter.
Williams does it again!  Sep 4, 2008
This is the clearest account of moral conscience I have ever read. The funny thing is, that with all the examples, analogies and vignettes, it reads more like a mystery story than a textbook. I have long been a fan of Father Williams' writing, but this one takes the cake! I especially like his refutation of moral relativism, and his nuanced account of conscientious objection. I found myself nodding in agreement on every page.

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