Apologetics 101: Is Christianity Good for People? Is It Good for the World? Part 1
by Matt Rawlings
Many of our nation’s Founding Fathers believed Christianity was essential to maintaining the Republic. John Adams wrote, “[W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. . . . Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” And it wasn’t just that Christianity provided a common moral foundation, Christianity was THE key source of most great art for hundreds of years whether it be Bach’s Mass in B Minor or Michelangelo’s great works. Moreover, Christianity also gave the world hospitals, orphanages, was the main force in stopping the Roman gladiator games and fueled the abolition movement worldwide.
But, as Tim Keller writes in The Reason for God, many today in the west believe “Christianity is the enemy of social cohesion, cultural adaptability and even authentic personhood.” What do people believe is good for society, culture and individuals? Near the end of the movie “I, Robot”, the android Sonny asks Detective Spooner (Will Smith), “Now that I have fulfilled my purpose, I don’t know what to
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do.” The detective answers, “I guess you’ll have to find your way like the rest of us, Sonny…that’s what it means to be free.” Dr. Keller reflects, “In this view, “freedom” means that there is no overarching purpose for which we were created. If there were, we would be obligated to conform to it and fulfill it, and that is limiting. True freedom is freedom to create your own meaning and purpose.”
Philosophically, proponents of such a view are materials and/or moral relativists who argue there is no truth but “your truth.” They find allies among moral subjectivists (many of them “postmodern Christians”) who argue that even if there is objective truth, our own cultural and intellectual flaws render us unable to know such truth.
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