What good is Christianity?
Posted on homepage: 25 July 2007 (GMT+10)
Mainstream media has long attacked biblical Christianity, and these attacks have been fed recently by a flurry of antitheistic books. Of course, Christians have responded by demonstrating the fallacies of the antitheists’ claims, but unfortunately rarely get the same exposure in the secular media.1 So it is worth summarizing some of the many beneficial effects of Christianity over the ages.2
Slavery and other humanitarian causes
In this issue (pp. 12–15), we point out the strong Christian motivation behind William Wilberforce’s determined campaign against the slave trade. We also cite some pro-slavers who told Wilberforce to leave religion out of politics—sound familiar?
Christianity has been at the forefront of other humanitarian causes, such as literacy, hospitals, orphanages and abolition of child labour. The biblical teaching that all humans come from ‘one man/blood’ (Acts 17:26) is the best antidote to racism, and science is catching up (see p. 18). It’s notable that Wilberforce was also an advocate of animal welfare. (Beware the confusion of animal welfare with animal rights. The former seeks to treat animals humanely, while the latter purports to give animals, e.g. the great apes, the same rights as humans—see Focus p. 8.)
Even today, conservative Christians still give far more support to charities than do other people, as noted by a recent book, Who Really Cares, by Prof. Arthur Brooks. The data were a total surprise to Brooks, who had a socially liberal background. It showed that:
‘Religious Americans are more likely to give to every kind of cause and charity, including explicitly nonreligious charities. Religious people give more blood; religious people give more to homeless people on the street.’
Christianity and the rise of modern science
Science is another area where the conventional wisdom puts it at loggerheads with Christianity. However, historians of science have pointed out that modern science first flourished under a Christian worldview while it was stillborn in other cultures.3 This is due mainly to two biblical teachings: (1) man had dominion over creation (Genesis 1:26–28), so had a duty to investigate it without praying to the ‘water spirit’ or ‘forest god’ or the like. (2) God is a lawgiving God of order, not confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). So the early scientists had faith that God’s upholding of His creation in an orderly way could be described in terms of ‘natural laws’.
If the capricious gods of Greek mythology were in charge, we wouldn’t expect unchanging natural laws. And if the universe were one big Thought, as Eastern religions teach, then it could change its mind at any moment!
So every issue of Creation magazine has an interview with a Bible-believing scientist. This issue features a leading Australian astronomer (pp. 46–48). We also seek to show how God’s handiwork can be seen in His intricate designs, such as the Venus flytrap (pp. 36–37) and amazing instincts in the animal world (pp. 28–30). But design is not enough; it is only one part of biblical history. Only a proper understanding of history makes sense of geology, e.g. gold deposits (pp. 16–17).
Baneful effects of abandoning Christianity
In this magazine, we also show what happens when God’s Word is abandoned. It is no accident that the greatest mass murderers in history were the atheistic communists like Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot; and the thoroughly evolutionized Nazi Germany (see pp. 4,5). In this issue, we look at some innocent victims of Nazi policy, the unfortunate Lebensborn children, bred to epitomize the new ‘master race’ (pp. 32–34).
It has also been noted that when people cease believing in the true God, they don’t believe in nothing, but believe in anything. So it is not surprising that absurd God-substitutes abound, such as aliens. Since this year is the 60th anniversary of New Mexico’s Roswell event, this issue has a sober analysis of what really happened there (pp. 19–21).
Finally, while Christianity is good for this world, it is even better for the next. This is why every issue explains the Good News (p. 48).4
References and notes
- See for example, Bell, P., Atheist with a mission, A review of The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, 7 February 2007. Return to Text.
- See also Koukl, G., Christianity’s real record, www.townhall.com/columnists/GregKoukl/2006/11/21/christianitys_real_record, 21 November 2006. Return to Text.
- Stark, R., For the Glory of God: How monotheism led to reformations, science, witch-hunts and the end of slavery, Princeton University Press, 2003; see also review by Williams A., The biblical origins of science, Journal of Creation 18(2):49–52, 2004. Return to Text.
- Of course, Christianity is good because it is true. For example, there are at least 17 factors that meant Christianity could not have succeeded in the ancient world, unless it were backed up with irrefutable proof of the Resurrection, as shown by Holding, J.P., The Impossible Faith, Xulon Press, Florida, USA, 2007. Return to Text.