Saturday, May 12, 2007

Is Christianity good for the world?

is the title of an online debate being published by Christianity Today, between atheist Christopher Hitchens and Christian Douglas Wilson. There have been two exchanges published so far, with the promise of more over the next month.

I have appreciated reading Douglas Wilson's online contributions in his Blog and Mablog and in Credenda Agenda, as well as reading Easy Chairs Hard Words, his stimulating imaginary conversation between a Calvinist pastor and a thoughtful Arminian who currently attends another church.

Concerning the topic's question, it seems to me that while Christians have, along with non-Christians, created much evil in the world, they have also done a lot of good. The few atheists I have encountered do not seem interested in healing the sick, clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, etc, though they are eager to spread their message.

While Christians are most certainly intent on spreading their message, which they believe to be the best and worst news the world will ever hear, they don't seem to be able to stop themselves alleviating poverty, preventing and curing sickness and speaking up for the down-trodden. Throughout the past two thousand years of Christian history they have been so active in this, that at times they have forgotten to tell their story, which has the unfortunate consequence of making people comfortable on the road to destruction (if their message is the truth they believe it to be).

Where atheists have been involved in supporting charitable causes, they have often been of the nature of fighting for human rights, or civil liberties, which sometimes have been really organisations that have been founded to stamp out the spread of religion or the freedom to teach it.

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