An in­tel­li­gent an­ti­dote to anti-Chris­tian pro­pa­ganda

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - David Lim­baugh

My goal here is to con­vince as many of you as pos­si­ble to read Di­nesh D’Souza’s com­pelling new book, “What’s So Great About Chris­tian­ity.”

Since I wrote my book chron­i­cling the war against Chris­tian­ity in our cul­ture, many athe­ists have come out of the closet to ad­mit their hos­til­ity to­ward Chris­tian­ity and for­mally de­clare war against it.

Anti-Chris­tian books have cropped up like alien pods in “In­va­sion of the Body Snatch­ers,” not only dis­put­ing Chris­tian­ity but ar­gu­ing that it is a so­ci­etally de­struc­tive force.

I have of­ten lamented that too many Chris­tians have opted out of the cul­ture wars, for vary­ing rea­sons. Some are ap­a­thetic; oth­ers mis­tak­enly be­lieve that the bib­li­cal in­junc­tion to re­joice in their per­se­cu­tion also means we should roll over and sur­ren­der. Still oth­ers grossly un­der­es­ti­mate the stakes in­volved and the fierce de­ter­mi­na­tion of their op­po­nents.

Di­nesh D’Souza is not among the AWOL Chris­tians. And, un­like some other Chris­tian apol­o­gists, he meets the en­emy on his own turf, con­fronting and decon- struct­ing his ar­gu­ments rather than merely recit­ing Scrip­ture that might be in­tel­li­gi­ble only to “the choir.”

He presents a com­pre­hen­sive yet con­cise apolo­getic of the Chris­tian faith, fac­ing head-on and an­swer­ing the nag­ging in­tel­lec­tual ob­sta­cles to faith, not least the prob­lem of hu­man suf­fer­ing. He also af­firms the re­li­a­bil­ity of Scrip­ture, the his­toric­ity of Je­sus, the over­whelm­ing proof of His res­ur­rec­tion and the unique­ness of Christ and the Chris­tian re­li­gion.

But this book is more than the tra­di­tional, the­o­log­i­cal apolo­getic. It also con­tains a ro­bust de­fense of Chris­tian­ity’s pos­i­tive in­flu­ence in his­tory and de­bunks the re­vi­sion­ist dis­in­for­ma­tion con­demn­ing the re­li­gion.

“Chris­tian­ity is the very root and foun­da­tion of West­ern civ­i­liza­tion.” Be­cause of its premise that man is cre­ated in God’s im­age, Chris­tian­ity is foun­da­tional to our firm be­lief in man’s dig­nity and our higher no­tions of moral­ity, even many the sec­u­lar­ists have pla­gia­rized as their own. Mr. D’Souza warns that we can­not re­move the Chris­tian foun­da­tion with­out, ul­ti­mately, re­mov­ing its val­ues along with it.

In­deed, Mr. D’Souza shat­ters the fa­ble that Chris­tian­ity is re­spon­si­ble for most of the atroc­i­ties through the ages and doc­u­ments that athe­ist regimes have been re­spon­si­ble for ex­po­nen­tially more deaths in the last few decades than have Chris­tian regimes through­out his­tory.

He also ex­poses the il­logic of athe­ism’s claim to moral su­pe­ri­or­ity when it can’t even of­fer a ra­tio­nal ex­pla­na­tion for man’s moral com­po­nent. Nor can athe­ism ex­plain man’s con­scious­ness. Apart from God, there is no ac­count­ing for ei­ther con­science or con­scious­ness.

Mr. D’Souza also con­clu­sively re­futes the sec­u­lar­ists’ widely be­lieved myths that Chris­tian­ity is the en­emy of rea­son and science. Chris­tian­ity gave rise to mod­ern science, and most of the world’s great sci­en­tists have been Chris­tians.

Chris­tians be­lieve that God set man apart from other be­ings, giv­ing him “a spark of di- vine rea­son” and the spe­cial power of ap­pre­hend­ing His cre­ation. This em­i­nently ra­tio­nal God cre­ated an or­derly uni­verse whose mys­ter­ies could be un­veiled through ap­pli­ca­tion of man’s rea­son, his “faith in the pos­si­bil­ity of science.”

Mr. D’Souza ex­plains why science didn’t flour­ish in other rel­a­tively so­phis­ti­cated cul­tures, like an­cient and me­dieval China. “There was no con­fi­dence that the code of na­ture‘s laws could ever be un­veiled and read be­cause there was no as­sur­ance that a divine be­ing, even more ra­tio­nal than our­selves, had ever for­mu­lated [a code of na­ture’s laws] ca­pa­ble of be­ing read.”

Mr. D’Souza’s approach is ad­mirable be­cause he doesn’t al­low him­self to be on the de­fen­sive but ag­gres­sively high­lights the weak­nesses in athe­is­tic thought and proves that pro­fessed in­tel­lec­tual ob­jec­tions to Chris­tian­ity are of­ten a cover for re­bel­lion against Chris­tian moral­ity.

While athe­ists con­grat­u­late them­selves for em­ploy­ing rea­son to fol­low the ev­i­dence “wher­ever it leads,” Mr. D’Souza shows that their pre­sup­po­si­tions, in­clud­ing their “un­wa­ver­ing com­mit­ment to nat­u­ral­ism and ma­te­ri­al­ism,” It’s one thing for sci­en­tists to de­fine science in such a way as to ex­clude the su­per­nat­u­ral — one of the sec­u­lar­ists’ ra­tio­nales for op­pos­ing the in­tro­duc­tion of in­tel­li­gent de­sign the­ory into the class­room. But it’s al­to­gether an­other for sec­u­lar sci­en­tists to use science as “a com­plete frame­work for un­der­stand­ing man and the uni­verse.” It is com­pletely non­sen­si­cal and dog­matic to say God is be­yond the scope of sci­en­tific in­quiry and then pro­ceed to use science to pro­mote an athe­is­tic world­view.

It is im­pos­si­ble to do this book jus­tice in a short re­view. But please trust me that it is an in­dis­pens­able ally for the Chris­tian in de­fend­ing his faith — his­tor­i­cally and doc­tri­nally. But it is also tai­lor-made for any open­minded skep­tics among us who might be sur­prised by the clar­ity, intelligence, depth and invit­ing gen­tle­ness D’Souza brings to th­ese un­sur­pass­ably im­por­tant is­sues. I strongly en­cour­age you to buy it — and read it from cover to cover.

David Lim­baugh, the brother of talk ra­dio host Rush Lim­baugh, is a na­tion­ally syn­di­cated colum­nist.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.