Is Christianity really as bad as atheists say that it is? For decades we have heard the charges from the new atheists. So we shouldn’t be surprised that many of those criticisms showed up at the 17th annual “White Privilege Conference” held last month in Philadelphia.
Paul Kivel (founder of the Challenging Christian Hegemony Project) blamed Christianity for “almost every dysfunction in society, from racism and sexism to global warming and a weak economy.” He warns that the United States is run by thousands of predominantly white Christian men who want to “colonize our mind” with Christianity’s core beliefs.
It is hard to take some of his criticisms seriously, but they deserve some response, if to merely remind others about the benefits they enjoy because of Christianity. Jerry Newcombe in a recent column provides a long list.
If you are educated, you should probably thank Christianity. “Education for the masses was a gift of Christianity to the world.” Education in America was established so that citizens could read the Bible for themselves and not be deluded. Nearly all of the colleges in America’s early history were founded on Christian principles.
If you have ever been in a hospital, you should also thank Christianity. “St. Basil of Caesarea, who lived in the fourth century, is credited with creating the first hospital in the history of the world.” And let’s not forget the advances in science. As Norm Geisler and I explain in our book on origin science, most of the pioneers in the field of science had a Christian worldview and others were theists who believed in God.
Most of the social movements in the 19th and 20th century sprung from Christian convictions. The abolition movement, child labor law movement, suffrage movement, and the civil rights movement are a few examples.
Christianity shouldn’t be blamed for what is bad in the world. We should be grateful for the many blessings it provides each of us.