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By Michael Horner Has Christianity Done More Harm than Good? By Michael Horner.

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Presentation on theme: "By Michael Horner Has Christianity Done More Harm than Good? By Michael Horner."— Presentation transcript:

1 By Michael Horner Has Christianity Done More Harm than Good? By Michael Horner

2 Has Christianity Done Any Good in the World? By Michael Horner

3 Introduction “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10: 5 Sociologist Rodney Stark – who described himself as an agnostic." [9] Through his study of the sociological impact of Christianity through the ages, he was influenced to become a follower of Christ. What did he discover? - We will see by looking at his book, The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success

4 Introduction “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10: 5 Jonathan Hill – What has Christianity Ever Done for Us? Ph.D. in Philosophy & Master of Philosophy in Theology Has written numerous books on the History of Christianity and the History of Christian thought.

5 Paul Chamberlain, Professor of Philosophy & Apologetics Trinity Western University Why People Don’t Believe: Confronting Seven Challenges to the Christian Faith “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10: 5

6 I. Ancient Times 1. 1.Christians cared for their sick and marginalized pagan neighbors. “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10: 5

7 Tertullian While pagan temples spent their donations "on feasts and drinking bouts," Christians spent theirs "to support and bury poor people, to supply the wants of boys and girls destitute of means and parents, and of old persons confined to the house." “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10: 5

8 Emperor Julian "The impious Galileans support not only their poor," complained pagan emperor Julian, "but ours as well." “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10: 5

9 I. Ancient Times 1. 1.Christians cared for their sick and marginalized pagan neighbors. 1b. Christians began hospital care “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10: 5

10 Paul Chamberlain, Professor of Philosophy & Apologetics Trinity Western University “While this is no longer true today, the initiative taken by early Christians to care for the sick was highly influential in creating an institution that today is not only appreciated but taken for granted. Indeed, it hard to imagine a world without hospitals.” “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10: 5

11 I. Ancient Times 1. 1.Christians cared for their sick and marginalized pagan neighbors. 1b. Christians began hospital care Enhanced status of women “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10: 5

12 I. Ancient Times Christ in the House of Martha and Mary Diego Velazquez, 1618 This Gospel account from Luke 10: 38-42, and other accounts suggests that Jesus broke with the conventions of his age and provided religious instruction to women.

13 I. Ancient Times 1. 1.Christians cared for their sick and marginalized pagan neighbors. 1b. Christians began hospital care 2. 2.Enhanced status of women 3. 3.Good theological news “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10: 5

14 II. Medieval Times or Middle Ages (5 th - 15 th Century) Positive Contributions by Christianity “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10: 5

15 II. Medieval Times or Middle Ages (5 th - 15 th Century) Agobard of Lyons - Specialized in debunking "weather magicians" who claimed to be able to control the weather.

16 II. Medieval Times or Middle Ages (5 th - 15 th Century) Pope Leo I persuades Attila the Hun not to attack Rome.

17 II. Medieval Times or Middle Ages (5 th - 15 th Century) Positive Contributions by Christianity 1. 1.Reason and Progress Christian theology was both rational and progressive. “… Greek religion… was all about mystery, and if things were logically inconsistent, that was even better proof they were of divine origin. “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10: 5

18 II. Medieval Times or Middle Ages (5 th - 15 th Century) Positive Contributions by Christianity 1. 1.Reason and Progress 2. 2.Invention “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10: 5

19 Inventions from the Middle Ages

20 II. Medieval Times or Middle Ages (5 th - 15 th Century) Positive Contributions by Christianity 1. 1.Reason and Progress 2. 2.Invention 3. 3.Elimination of Slavery “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10: 5

21 II. Medieval Times or Middle Ages (5 th - 15 th Century) Callistus, a former slave, not only became a priest, but later a bishop and is listed as one of the early Popes. “St. Melania was said to have emancipated 8000 slaves, St. Ovidius…. of Gaul, 5000, Chromatius a Roman prefect…. 1400, Hermes, a prefect… And many of the Christian clergy…. under the rule of St. Augustine, as well as great numbers of private citizens, freed their slaves as an act of piety.” “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10: 5

22 II. Medieval Times or Middle Ages (5 th - 15 th Century) Positive Contributions by Christianity 1. 1.Reason and Progress 2. 2.Invention 3. 3.Elimination of Slavery 4. 4.Science, Freedom, Capitalism & Democracy “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10: 5

23 II. Medieval Times or Middle Ages (5 th - 15 th Century) Positive Contributions by Christianity 5. 5.Establishing Universities “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10: 5

24 III. Enlightenment Times [16 th C – 20 th C] 1. 1.Wilberforce and Abolition of Slavery "Unless God has raised you up... I see not how you can go through with your glorious enterprise in opposing that execrable villainy.... You will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils; but if God is with you, who can be against you? Oh, be not weary in well-doing. Go on, in the name of God and in the power of his might, till even American slavery, the vilest that ever saw the sun, shall banish away before it." (John Wesley) “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10: 5

25 Wilberforce and Abolition of Slavery

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27 III. Enlightenment Times [16 th C – 20 th C] 1. 1.Wilberforce and Abolition of Slavery 2. 2.Dunant & Founding of the Geneva Convention and the Red Cross “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10: 5

28 Jean Henry Dunant Founder of the Geneva Convention and the Red Cross

29 Jean Henry Dunant

30 Founder of the Geneva Convention and the Red Cross Winner of the First Nobel Peace Prize

31 IV. Contemporary Times Compassionate Evangelical Agencies - International Justice Mission, World Vision, Compassion International, Prison Fellowship, Samaritan’s Purse, Global Aid Network and many, many others too numerous to mention 1. 1.Evangelicals, Sudan/Darfur, and Sexual Slavery and Trafficking 2. 2.First Responders after Katrina 3. 3.Sex Trafficking 4. 4.Helping the Poor & Marginalized “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10: 5

32 Atheist Matthew Parris The difference Christianity offers, he says, is a change of people’s hearts. “It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.”

33 Atheist Patrick Greene Patrick Greene of San Antonio, was known in Henderson County simply as a professed atheist who threatened to sue Henderson County about the courthouse manger scene. That is until some Christians learned of his need for a $20,000 eye surgery and felt compelled to help.

34 V. Blemishes on the RecordV. Blemishes on the Record 1. 1.In Christianity, if one is propagating their religion via violence, they are not following the teachings of Jesus. “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10: 5

35 V. Blemishes on the RecordV. Blemishes on the Record 2. 2.The numbers are usually not as bad as they are made out to be The Salem Witchcraft Trials – 36 - not millions European Witch Executions – 50,000 – 200,000 not million Inquisitions – thousands not millions Crusades – Tens of thousands not millions “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10: 5

36 V. Blemishes on the RecordV. Blemishes on the Record 3. 3.Atheism does far worse when given the chance Would violence and war disappear if religion were eradicated? Not a chance! The statistics that are the result of irreligious violence & genocide stagger the imagination. “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10: 5

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39 Lives Lost Under Non-Religious Dictators - [Conservative numbers – and could be much higher] Joseph Stalin - 42,672,000 Mao Zedong - 37,828,000 Adolf Hitler - 20,946,000 Chiang Kai-shek - 10,214,000 Vladimir Lenin - 4,017,000 Hideki Tojo - 3,990,000 Pol Pot - 2,397,000 “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10: 5

40 V. Blemishes on the RecordV. Blemishes on the Record 3. 3.Atheism does far worse when given the chance 4. 4.It is a human problem not a problem of just religion, or Christianity. It just so happens that most people throughout history are religious not atheist Christian teaching affirms that humankind is fatally flawed “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10: 5

41 Conclusion “In Western culture it is Christianity that has produced every single thing that the secularists pretend was invented by them — like the idea of human rights, the concept of equality under the law, the affirmation of the goodness of reason. Even the development of science is inseparable from Christianity.” “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10: 5 Brian Killian Writer & Columnist

42 Conclusion “Despite the fact that the human race is seriously screwed up, Christianity, all considered, has had a remarkable humanizing affect on us. Where humanity has a heart of stone, Christianity has bestowed hearts of flesh. This new humanity amazed a cold, pagan world with its warmth. Nevertheless, Christianity is portrayed as the paragon of wickedness.” “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10: 5 Brian Killian Writer & Columnist

43 Conclusion “... It is rather odd that there can be such a disparity between what Christianity represents and how it is perceived by some. But this paradox goes all the way back to Jesus, who so vexed His contemporaries that many of them found the murderer Barabbas preferable to His presence.” “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10: 5 Brian Killian Writer & Columnist


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