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Just Finished…

January 23, 2009

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Just finished reading Dinesh D’Souza’s What’s So Great About Christianity? This is another introductory apologetics work that discusses the foundational principles of the reasonableness of Christianity, but is at the same time more than an introductory work.

I feel like many books like this are too defensive when presenting the reasonableness  of belief in Christ, but D’Souza is more direct in his work, speaking directly yet directly to the inconsistencies and problems of a non-Christian worldview.

He’s come under some fire for his rather brief discussion of evolutionary theory (which he accepts), but the issue isn’t really central to his work. He covers ground that’s generally not covered in similar books (such as his discussion of the Crusades and other “crimes at the hands of Christians” in light of 20th century crimes at the hands of atheistic Marxism). Probably the best part of the book is D’Souza’s ability to deal with complicated issues quickly with language that is easy to comprehend.

Here’s a quote that stuck out to me in particular, which properly articulates some thoughts that I’ve had for a while about today’s culture where tolerance and compassion are king:

“It may seem strange to see all this callousness toward human life in a society whose primary social value is compassion. But the paradox is resolved when you see that it is precisely because we are so awful in our private lives that we need to pretend to be virtuous in our public lives. People who do things that are morally disgusting, like cheating on their spouses and killing their offspring, cannot escape the pang of conscience. Thus it is of the highest importance to deflect that conscience, not only to give other people the impression that we are kind and wonderful, but also to convince ourselves of the same. For the person who has just slept with his business associate, it is morally imperative that he make a sizable contributino to the United Way.

My conclusion is that, contrary to popular belief, atheism is not primarily an intellectual revolt; it is a moral revolt. Atheists don’t find God invisible so much as objectionable. They aren’t adjusting their desires to the truth, but rather the truth to fit their desires” (276).

A perceptive evaluation of modern society if you ask me, and I would say this applies not only to the atheist but almost anyone who rejects Christ.

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