A Masterful Defence

…but slack on Creation.

whatssogreat“What’s so great about Christianity? D’Souza gives this question a book-length answer, exploring Christianity’s effect on government, science, philosophy and morality, while answering the objections of atheists along the way. He also gives a warning: most of the West is living on the inheritance of the Christian culture handed down to it by previous generations, but the secular worldview is slowly eating away at the best things Western culture offers. In a mostly masterful apologetic for Christianity, D’Souza shows that Christianity is intellectually reasonable and produces positive results in the cultures that adopt it, and that atheism is unreasonable and produces worse results than even Christianity gone wrong. However, D’Souza’s position on creationism is a major flaw in an otherwise superb resource…”

“…This hostility to religion exists in spite of the fact that most of the rights that the secularists hold dear have their origin in Christianity. D’Souza shows that Western civilization owes its survival to Christianity, and that ideas such as limited government, religious tolerance, human dignity and equality, and individual freedom all have explicitly Christian origins. Western culture also owes much to Christianity; the great works of art, music and architecture were overwhelmingly influenced by Christian themes, even those created by people who rejected the Christian faith. Many secularists want to leave Christianity behind while keeping the benefits it has had on Western civilization, but D’Souza echoes Nietzsche’s warning: Though some of the values built on Christianity seem to have taken on a life of their own, they are still inextricably tied to their Christian foundation; if that foundation is removed, the values that were built on that foundation will inevitably vanish as well.”

“…He is wrong about Irenaeus, who accepted a literal interpretation of the days of Genesis 1. D’Souza may have misunderstood Irenaeus’s view that the six (literal) days of creation were types of six thousand-year periods which made up the totality of human history. That is, each Day of Creation corresponded to (but was not equal to) one thousand years of subsequent Earth history, and the seventh day of rest corresponded to a future Millennium. For this to work, the days had to be literal—and Earth history had to be only a few thousand years.

Augustine and Origen did not interpret the days of creation literally, but they also were against interpreting the days as long periods of time. Instead, they believed that the days must be instants, because God’s commands would have been obeyed immediately; they did not think it could be as long as a literal day. Both of these explicitly stated that the Earth was only a few thousand years old at the time they wrote, and strongly denounced long-age ideas.”

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