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Battling the “Dark Arts” Christians Face Daily: The Honorable J. Randy Forbes Shares Advice for Christians Facing Ethical Dilemmas

The phrase “Defense Against the Dark Arts” probably conjures up images of a popular novel series involving wizards, wands and magic in most people’s minds. For the Robertson School of Government (RSG) though, it is an appropriate name for a lecture series on ethics that featured an address from the honorable J. Randy Forbes on Tuesday, February 27.

During the off-the-record lecture, Forbes talked about various ethical dilemmas many political officials face. He encouraged those present to not only seek out godly counsel when faced with difficulty or evil, but to show love and respect toward those they disagree with.

“Many people seem to think that their Christian faith is going to give them the answers to vocational gray areas in the moment,” said RSG Dean Eric Patterson. “That really is not the example of the Bible: Moses had 80 years of preparation, Nehemiah and Joshua and many others had years of preparation in lesser roles before they took the lead. We want to expose students to real world ethical challenges that are not always easy to define.”

Forbes also described the spiritual support he and his colleagues found in one another when he represented Virginia’s 4th District as a U.S. Congressman in Washington D.C. He served in the position for 16 years, from 2001 to 2017.

Peter Purcell ’18 (RSG), a student present at the event, said he appreciated the unique insights on Christian principle Forbes provided. “I think one of the great things [about] being a graduate student at Regent is the opportunity to meet national leaders and talk to them specifically from a faith perspective,” Purcell added.