Monday, 24 January 2011

Christianity Questions #13

Hasn’t the overall influence of Christianity been negative?

You'll remember I was doing a series on Schaeffer's "Questions Intellectuals Ask about Christianity" There's a few to go and I havn't forgotten ...

However, this one is a bit of a straw man since this is not a question that is likely to vex an "intellectual". It is more likely that someone will wonder if religions are not intrinsically destructive and divisive, pointing out that the good stuff done in the name of any religion tends to be in spite of religious precepts rather than because of them. But that's a bit tricky since it varies across history ... some ages have emphasised charity for eg while others insist that saving souls is the aim so the church should not get involved with politics.

How does one attribute a particular result to Christianities influence? How does one work out if it is positive or measure how positive or negative it is? Surely these are all subjective as well as subject to historical review. Without some sort of specific meaning for it's terms, it is not a meaningful question.

Schaeffer quotes  Kenneth Scott Latourette, Sterling Professor, Yale University (also a Christian, and a Christian historian) ... who takes a long time pointing out the same thing, less clearly, but with examples.

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