History Will Never Be The Same

Is God a Moral Monster?: Making Sense of the Old Testament God Some atheists and anti-Christian voices accuse Christianity of being a religion of the sword, coercion, and manipulation because there have been some dark spots in Christian history.  However, there are many bright spots that atheists and anti-Christian voices typically fail to mention.  Paul Copan states it well:

“Historians have documented that the values of human rights, tolerance, social justice, and racial reconciliation are the legacy of the Christian faith, not some secular Enlightenment ideals.  For all her flaws, the Christian church has played an important part in bringing huge benefits to civilization.  This impact has often been inspired by devotion to Christ, which overflows to love for one’s neighbor to the glory of God.”

Copan then goes on to give a sample list of the ways Christians have blessed the world, so to speak.  I’ve edited the list to keep it brief, but each of the following points would almost need a book to explain it properly.

Eradicating slavery: As the Christian faith spread into barbarian Europe after the fall of Rome, the practice of slavery dwindled.  Later in history when slavery reappeared, Christians were at the forefront of its opposition.”

Opposing infanticide and rescuing infants from exposure in Greco-Roman society.”

Building hospitals and hospices:  Unlike Greeks and Romans, early Christians were concerned about health care, looking after the sick and the dying.  Christians have, throughout history, started many hospitals in many locations.”

Elevating women’s status/rights: Early Christians routinely protected women and children from neglect and abuse.”

Founding Europe’s and North America’s great universities.”

Writing extraordinary works of literature: from Augustine’s ‘City of God’ to Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’ to Tolkein and Solzhenitsyn, Christians have contributed much in the area of literature.”

Engaging in and writing about philosophy and theology and the life of reason: from Augustine to Anselm to Aquinas to Pascal, Christianity has had many deep, serious thinkers.”

Creating beautiful masterpieces of art, sculpture, and architecture (Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Rubens, the cathedrals, etc.).”

Establishing modern science.  Modern science had its roots in the biblical conviction that the world was created by a rational God.  For this reason, it was orderly and predictable, and could be studied and understood by human minds.  Think of Newton, Kepler, Kelvin, Boyle, and many others, for example.”

Composing brilliant music: the works of Bach, Handel, Mendelssohn, and Haydn speak for themselves.”

Advocating human rights, democracy, political freedoms, concern for the poor: these things are rooted in the biblical truth that humans are created in the image of God and have inherent worth.”

“It’s difficult to exaggerate the impact that Jesus of Nazareth has had on history and the countless lives impacted by this one man’s life and teaching – indeed, the transforming power of his cross and resurrection.  The historian Jaroslav Pelikan remarked that… ‘everyone is compelled to acknowledge that because of Jesus of Nazareth history will never be the same.’”

Paul Copan, Is God a Moral Monster? p. 217-219.

shane lems

6 Replies to “History Will Never Be The Same”

  1. For all the charges laid at the feet of Christianity, the fact remains that godless / atheist political systems have accounted for exponentially more deaths and atrocities.

    I tell you though, I never felt more blessed than the day that God allowed me to see that “The Old Testament God” is one and the same, unchanging, the true and living God. There is no tension between “the God of the Old Testament” and “the God of the New Testament” except that which we create through our lack of understanding.

    Thanks for this article!

    Like

  2. I’m blessed to know Dr. Copan as a friend and fellow elder at our church. Glad to see this book featured! It’s an excellent resource.

    Like

  3. Wow, really? “Unlike Greeks and Romans, early Christians were concerned about health care, looking after the sick and the dying.” Hippocratic Oath, anyone? But all of this reads like baptized western virtues and accomplishments. I thought the line was, “If the church doesn’t build hospitals, someone else will. If she doesn’t preach the gospel, nobody will.”

    Like

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: