Christianity – Irrelevant to Modern Life?

You think Christianity is today, an irrelevant faith, based on an irrelevant book. And in any case, you don’t want anything interfering with the way you choose to run your life.

Time & Culturetime
• Today, fewer than 5% of people in England attend church.
• Yet even those who don’t believe in Jesus…
• Set their watches and calendars by the dates of his life.
• His death is the point from which even secular historians begin to trace a growing importance of:
• the sanctity of human life with a realisation of the evils of child killing, and cruelty to women, the elderly and the slaves

• Ok you say, but it’s hardly very scientific to believe in Christianity. Or is it?
• In actual fact, you might be surprised to learn that Christianity actually undergirds science.
• Science is about the how and what. Christianity is about the who and why
• Which is why some of the greatest pioneers of science saw no issues with their beliefs as committed Christians – Louis Pasteur, Michael Faraday (electricity) and most famously, Sir Isaac Newton
• But what about Darwin and his theory of evolution?
• Well what about it? It doesn’t, after all, explain where the first monkey came from, something Darwin himself realised when he renounced the whole thing on his deathbed.

• Well why is it that the countries that overall enjoy the highest standard of living in the world are fundamentally Christian ones.
• Compare predominately Christian Western countries with the standard of living suffered by most of those in Arab Muslim countries or Hindu India or Buddhist China.
• Private property – the foundation of capitalism – is also the foundation of Biblical economics. “Thou Shalt Not Steal” is from the Bible after all.
• it was an Italian Franciscan monk, Father Luca Pacidi, who invented double-entry book-keeping and spread sheets, the basis of all modern accounting.

On to Medicine…medicine
• Why do you think so many hospitals have Christian-sounding names (St Thomas’s etc.) It’s because most were originally started for Christian purposes to help the poor sick. The oldest hospital still functioning today is the Hotel Dieu in Paris established in AD600.
• Nursing started with Florence Nightingale, a devout Christian who felt herself called into God’s service for this purpose. Henry Durant, a Christian evangelical started the Red Cross.
• Christian people have constructed tens of thousands of hospitals all over the world. How many agnostics have built hospitals or homes for the homeless?

What about education…education
• Education for the masses has its very roots in Christianity – before Christ it was only for the elite.
• Many of the world’s languages were first set to writing by Christian missionaries – eg. Russian Cyrillic (St Cyril).
• The first mass printing press was primarily developed to print the bible.
• Virtually all Universities were started by Christians in the middle ages.

Or perhaps you’re more interested in the Arts…arts
• Well Vivaldi was a Priest, Bach dedicated every note he wrote to the service of Jesus Christ, as did Handel.
• So did Michael Angelo, Shakespeare, Dickens, Tennyson, Hans Christian Anderson, Leo Tolstoy, TS
Elliott and CS Lewis.
• An 11th century monk Guido of Arezzo developed the notation of modern music which then made it
possible to compose.