Sadly, it has become trendy in some circles to say that the world would be a better place without religion in general and Christianity in particular. I really do wonder if professors, commentators, and people on social media really believe this or are just saying it without any serious reflection. As I like to sometimes say to my atheist acquaintances, I see lots of Catholic hospitals, Presbyterian hospitals, and Baptist hospitals. I have never seen a humanist hospital.
Previous books by D. James Kennedy ask questions like: What if Jesus Had Never Been Born? and What if the Bible Had Never Been Written? Rodney Stark documents the positive impact of Christianity in many books, including The Triumph of Christianity.
In his new book, Unimaginable: What Our World Would be Like Without Christianity, Jeremiah Johnston explains what the world was like before Christianity and what the world would be like without Christianity. He then concludes by talking about the benefits in a world with Christianity. He was in my radio studio talking about the influence of atheism in our world, and then we concluded by talking about the positive influence from Christianity in our world today.
For example, there are an estimated 350,000 religious congregations in the United States, and the vast majority of them “serve in some capacity as a community safety net for those in need.” We also see churches and faith-based organizations helping out in disasters.
So what is the economic impact of faith in America? According to one study cited in the book, religion’s $1.2 trillion impact is more than the global annual earnings of Apple and Microsoft combined. Or you can look at it another way. How much do we save in social services because these are performed by faith organizations? Rodney Stark of Baylor University concludes that the total current savings to US society is $2.67 trillion.
The book’s facts and figures are a vivid reminder that the positive impact of Christianity in society is indeed unimaginable.