What if Jesus Had Never Been Born?
by Eric Chabot
Is Christianity bad for the world? According to some outspoken atheists, the world would be a better place if we had no Christianity or religion in general. Several years ago I read a book called, What if Jesus Had Never Been Born? by D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcomb. Some of these points are adapted from this book. I have also expanded on a few of the issues. Sure I know that the Church has some black spots on its record. I have heard alot of complaints about The Crusades (although that is a long topic which I think John Lennox has responded to), the Salem Witch Trials, or those who profess to be Christians that hold their signs up that say “God hates gays” etc. But it is evident that without Jesus our world would be a different place than the one we have now. So here are some points that may lead to further discussion:
Although many committed Christians owned slaves in history, it was Christians who historians credit with being the primary force behind ending international slave trade. Two-thirds of the members of the American abolition society in 1835 were Christian ministers. Wilberforce, Charles Finney, William Lloyd Garrison, Edward Beecher, and Theodore Dwight Weld all battled to abolish slavery. John Gregg Fee, the evangelical founder of Berea College in Kentucky called out to God in prayer on his knees and said “Lord, if needs be, make me an Abolitionist.” (Gary Haugen, Good News About Injustice, pg 62-63).
In the ancient world, for example in classical Rome or Greece, infanticide was not only legal, it was applauded. Killing a Roman was murder, but it was commonly held in Rome that killing one’s own children could be an act of beauty. Through a higher view of life, it was the early Christian church that ultimately brought an end to infanticide.
The modern pro-life movement is largely Christian. This pro-life view has been true from the very beginning of Christianity.
From the beginning of Judaism, from which Christianity is derived, there was an emphasis on the written word. But the phenomenon of education for the masses has its roots in the Protestant Reformation. In his book Love Your God with All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul by J. P. Moreland traces the history of what has happened in relation to the Christian mind.
Moreland discusses the history of the pilgrims arriving to the United States in the middle of the nineteenth century. The Pilgrims along with other American believers placed a high value on the intellectual life in relation to Christian spirituality. The Puritans were highly educated people (the literacy rate for men in Massachusetts and Connecticut was between 89 and 95 percent) who founded colleges, taught their children to read and write before the age of six, studied art, philosophy, and other fields as well. Evangelical scholars such as Jonathan Edwards were scholarly and well informed about other fields other than theology…
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