When someone expresses contempt for Christianity, ridicules people who believe in Christ, I just want to shake them sometimes. Even from a purely human perspective, this is the faith that prompted Michelangelo* to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. It’s the faith that motivated all of Bach’s incredible music. It’s the faith that drove Kepler to try to understand the movement of planets. And I am foolish for following this faith?
What has materialism given us? What great accomplishments have been motivated by a belief that nothing more than matter and energy exist, that the supernatural is all just delusion, that we all just turn into worm food when we die? What great legacy has that belief left to the world? I know there are plenty of atheist musicians and artists, and plenty of atheist scientists. But are they specifically motivated by their philosophical beliefs to do what they do? Maybe John Lennon was when he wrote “Imagine”. Then of course there’s all the totalitarianism and murder which was specifically motivated by materialistic naturalism. I just learned about the charmingly named “Road of Bones” recently. So there’s that.
My point is, we have nothing to be ashamed of. It’s very fashionable to denigrate Western civilization these days, but when someone stops being a child and starts being a man, he will immediately recognize that Western European civilization, built on the deep influence of Christianity, was the finest civilization the world has ever produced, and as Christianity fades in Western Europe, I don’t see the cultural output of Europe and the United States exactly improving as a result. We’ve got better gadgets, sure. But where are our Michelangelos? Where are our Bachs or Keplers?
This is all just supportive, of course. The only reason anyone ever believes in Jesus is because they heard His voice and recognized their Shepherd. That’s the only reason anyone needs. But it shows the blindness and foolishness of those who reject Him that they think of Christianity as some hillbilly backward faith and themselves as the great sophisticates.
*corrected. It was of course Michelangelo, not Da Vinci, that painted the Sistine Chapel. Thanks, alert readers.