Atheists who see Christianity as good for society

  

Category:  Religion & Ethics

Via:  donald-j-trump-fan-1  •  last year  •  6 comments

By:   PAGE: JOHN STONESTREET AND G. SHANE MORRIS

Atheists who see Christianity as good for society
The strange part of this story is that Rhys-Davies is a self-professed “rationalist and a skeptic,” not a Christian. Yet he is still able to see how the faith of Christ’s Church, as author Alvin J. Schmidt puts it, “changed the world” for the better. Rhys-Davis is just one of many skeptics, atheists, and secularists of late who reject the rhetoric of Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris and recognize the immense good the Gospel has done for the world.

Christianity has real and great value to man kind. Even atheists are seeing and stating it.  The atheists who totally deny God and question the value and logic of a rational faith are being countered by more rational voices.  


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



133300_w_400_300.jpg (Photo: Unsplash/Aaron Burden)

Last week, actor John Rhys-Davies, best known for playing the dwarf Gimli in “The Lord of the Rings” films, gave a strong defense for Christianity.

Speaking to the Christian Post from the red carpet at the Movieguide awards, Rhys-Davies said, “We seem to forget that Christian civilization has made the world a better place… We owe Christianity the greatest debt of thanks that a generation can ever have…” he went on, crediting it for the ideas of religious liberty, free speech, and individual rights.

Rhys-Davies, who recently starred in an animated adaptation of “Pilgrim’s Progress” and is the lead in an upcoming biopic of Saint Patrick, said he often finds himself sticking up for Jesus in his line of work.

The strange part of this story is that Rhys-Davies is a self-professed “rationalist and a skeptic,” not a Christian. Yet he is still able to see how the faith of Christ’s Church, as author  Alvin J. Schmidt puts it , “changed the world” for the better.


Rhys-Davis is just one of many skeptics, atheists, and secularists of late who reject the rhetoric of Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris and recognize the immense good the Gospel has done for the world. Whereas the so-called New Atheists slandered Christianity as being backward and poisonous, a new crop of unbelievers see it as beneficial, beautiful, and maybe even in some limited sense, true.

Take Douglas Murray , British journalist, political commentator, and author of the new book, “The Madness of Crowds.” Though a self-professed non-believer and gay man, Murray admits to admiring Christianity and “the positive role it has played in building Western civilization.” He even labels himself, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, a “Christian atheist.”

In a recent dialogue  with Christian writer Esther O’Reilly on the “Unbelievable” podcast, Murray praised Christianity’s “revolutionary moral insights” such as the command to “love and forgive your enemies.”

“The more atheists think on these things,” he confessed, “the more we may have to accept that…the sanctity of human life is a Judeo-Christian notion which might very easily not survive [the demise of] Judeo-Christian civilization.”

But even more than recognizing Christianity’s usefulness, Murray sees the faith as meaningful. Describing a trip he took last year to the Sea of Galilee, Murray admitted he couldn’t stop thinking that, as he put it, “something happened here.”

Murray was one of several “Christ-haunted unbelievers” discussed on a  recent BreakPoint Podcast  conversation between Shane Morris and Esther O’Reilly.

In addition to her recent interaction with Murray, O’Reilly also contributed to an upcoming book about clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson, another who has articulated a strong respect for Christianity from the perspective on non-belief.

According to O’Reilly, skeptics admitting to the Christian faith’s positive influence on history is only the headline of this story (although we’d be remiss to not include the recent book “Dominion” by Tom Holland as yet another example). O’Reilly thinks that under the surface, spiritual truth is being found too, much like the skeptics C. S. Lewis describes in the essay entitled “Myth Became Fact.”

Lewis, himself a convert from atheism, wrote, “A man who disbelieved the Christian story as fact but continually fed on it as myth would, perhaps, be more spiritually alive than the one who assented [to it as fact] and did not think much about it.”

With O’Reilly, we hope the flame of myth and meaning fans into full-blown belief, that they will come to see Christianity as “the place where the heart’s deepest longings and deepest intuitions about what is good…connect(s) with the mind’s deepest understanding [of what is true.]”

After all, no unbelief can survive that moment. Just ask C.S. Lewis.

Catch Shane Morris’ conversation with  Esther O’Reilly on the BreakPoint Podcast .


Originally posted at  breakpoint.org


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XXJefferson51
Senior Guide
1  seeder  XXJefferson51    last year

Rhys-Davis is just one of many skeptics, atheists, and secularists of late who reject the rhetoric of Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris and recognize the immense good the Gospel has done for the world. Whereas the so-called New Atheists slandered Christianity as being backward and poisonous, a new crop of unbelievers see it as beneficial, beautiful, and maybe even in some limited sense, true.

Take Douglas Murray  , British journalist, political commentator, and author of the new book, “The Madness of Crowds.” Though a self-professed non-believer and gay man, Murray admits to admiring Christianity and “the positive role it has played in building Western civilization.” He even labels himself, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, a “Christian atheist.”

In a recent dialogue   with Christian writer Esther O’Reilly on the “Unbelievable” podcast, Murray praised Christianity’s “revolutionary moral insights” such as the command to “love and forgive your enemies.”

“The more atheists think on these things,” he confessed, “the more we may have to accept that…the sanctity of human life is a Judeo-Christian notion which might very easily not survive [the demise of] Judeo-Christian civilization.”

But even more than recognizing Christianity’s usefulness, Murray sees the faith as meaningful. Describing a trip he took last year to the Sea of Galilee, Murray admitted he couldn’t stop thinking that, as he put it, “something happened here.”

Murray was one of several “Christ-haunted unbelievers” discussed on a  recent BreakPoint Podcast  conversation between Shane Morris and Esther O’Reilly.

In addition to her recent interaction with Murray, O’Reilly also contributed to an upcoming book about clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson, another who has articulated a strong respect for Christianity from the perspective on non-belief.  

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Masters Guide
2  Drakkonis    last year

in his book, Who Is This Man?, John Ortberg gives a brief outline (it's a small book) of what Christ's impact on the world has been.  Although skeptics and atheists love to point out historical failures attributable to Christendom, it is easily argued that the progress the west has made is almost entirely attributable to Jesus Christ. Even if one only ascribes the status of "great philosopher" upon him, he initiated a new way of thinking that changed the world and continues to change it today. People think Christianity is declining but that isn't true. It's moving. Moving to Asia, South America and Africa. It is predicted that China will be the largest Christian per capita nation in the world by 2030. 

 
 
 
XXJefferson51
Senior Guide
2.1  seeder  XXJefferson51  replied to  Drakkonis @2    last year

It’s true that our sinful nature has caused key failures in the development of Christianity especially during the period roughly 550 to 1750 AD.  Much of the church taught the doctrines of men instead of of God then and bad things happened in our name as a result.  Christian thought based on Jesus is what got Western Europe through to modern times from the days of pagan barbarism.  You are right that the church is growing fast in central and South America as well as sub Saharan Africa and China, India and the rest of SE Asia.  

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Masters Guide
3  Drakkonis    last year
It’s true that our sinful nature has caused key failures in the development of Christianity...

That's more or less key to understanding the past concerning Christianity. Something that the skeptic fails to understand. They seem to think that because God is involved, failures would not happen. That He is some sort of Tyrant, as so many often accuse Him of being, and would not allow failure. 

Much of the church taught the doctrines of men instead of of God then and bad things happened in our name as a result.

Yes, and an aspect of history that the skeptic can't be bothered with learning about. In some ways, Constantine's actions in legalizing the Christian religion was the worst thing to happen to the church. Over time, there became in a very real sense, two churches. One devoted to God and one concerned with personal power. As Christianity became more accepted, second, third and fourth sons, etc. found a path to power and wealth they would not ordinarily have had.  

In spite of that, the message of Christ, and what he did for us, changed the world. Especially the wester world and is now changing other parts of the world as well. I highly recommend you read the book I mentioned. It's really fascinating and makes you look at history in a new way. Ortberg gives a sermon that touches on some of what's in the book. It's worth checking out. 

 
 
 
XXJefferson51
Senior Guide
3.1  seeder  XXJefferson51  replied to  Drakkonis @3    last year

I agree with what you wrote.  Thanks for the recommendation. I’m not surprised that no atheist responded here to this article.  Many here are not like the ones in the article but are in the Dawkins mold.  They deluded themselves into thinking we held our culture back rather than advancing it.  Some even have a contempt for all that we stand for and reserve a deep hatred for God in in their minds just in case it turns out He really does exist.  The gospel is the good news for the world and I can’t wait til the whole world has heard it and what then happens.  

 
 
 
XXJefferson51
Senior Guide
4  seeder  XXJefferson51    last year

 
 
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