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How Christianity Changed the World Paperback – December 12, 2004
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In spite the claims of some today that Christianity oppresses women, the historical record shows just the opposite. Women were oppressed in almost every culture prior to the coming of Christianity. By elevating sexual morality, and by conferring upon women a much higher status, the Christian religion revolutionised the place and prestige of women.
The way Jesus treated women was in stark contrast to the surrounding culture. In Roman law a man's wife and children were little more than slaves, often treated like animals. Women had no property rights and faced severe social restrictions. Jesus of course changed all that. The way he treated the Samaritan woman was one remarkable example. And this was not lost on the early disciples. We know from the New Testament documents that many women exercised various leadership roles in the early church. Indeed, during this period Christian women actually outnumbered Christian men.
Admittedly there were some anomalies later in the church's history, when chauvinistic and anti-feminine views were allowed to re-enter parts of the church. But such aberrations must not detract from the truly revolutionary elevation of the status of women achieved by Christianity.
Consider also the issue of health care. Prior to Christianity, the Greeks and Romans had little or no interest in the poor, the sick and the dying.Read more ›
In the area of hospitals, Christianity is once again the reason we have them. During Jesus earthly ministry the blind, lame, deaf, crippled, and diseased were brought to Jesus, and he healed them. These miracles were one of the defining features of Jesus ministry, occurring constantly and during his ministry. His apostles also carried on that tradition in the book of Acts, healing many as they spread the gospel message. Christians throughout the ages have carried on this tradition in their own manner, with most not being blessed with the gift of miracle healings. This was done through the introduction and rise of hospitals, which were built by Christians, not the pagans, because they wanted to follow in their Lord’s footsteps in having compassion on the sick, giving whatever support they could to them in their illness. The pre-Christian world had a gaping void when it came to medical aid. I think that this was because of their often fatalistic worldviews. If someone if fated to die, then why should they try to interfere? As Dionysius says, the pagans threw the sick into the streets to die, and treated them with “utter contempt” as they lie dying.
In the Roman Empire, the above described behavior was the standard. Even the pagan emperor Julian lamented the lack of medical aid and compassion for the sick and dying, through to the best of my knowledge he did nothing to improve the situation.Read more ›
improved upon by the world's largest and most widespread religion.
I especially liked the chapters on science and education, which no doubt,
will spark some controversy, particularly, by atheists and scientists. But history shows that contrary to prevailing thought, science and the institutes of higher learning got an incalculable boost from Christianity.
Monasteries were the predecessors of the modern university. Schmidt
also correctly pointed out that Christ's passionate directive to "teach all nations" was the true driving force behind global civilization, not merely military conquest.Women were elevated in status. Children were rescued from exposure, and sick people who weren't rich or important by societal standards, were cared for and sparked the rise of today's hospitals. Also, Schmidt cogently argues that Jesus has been the single greatest artistic inspiration for the past 2000 years. From the Pieta to
the Last Supper, the Ascension to the Descent From the Cross, Schmidt clearly shows how Christ poignantly influenced artists as diverse as DaVinci, Durer, Raphael, and the incomparable Michaelangelo.
This book will be a major eye opener for everyone who reads it. Even atheists and secularists will be hard pressed to disprove its claims.
May Dr. Schmidt receive undying praise for his marvelous effort to enlighten our world about the greatest religion ever founded.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
With people constantly reinventing history and with Google and Facebook throttling the news we can see, I think it's important that people own a hard copy of the numerous ways... Read morePublished 19 days ago by dbaesna
Loved it 5 stars - The reader will learn that the benefits of Christianity far outweigh any drawbacks, Christians need to know the material in this book, especially In an... Read morePublished 1 month ago by K. M. MASON
An excellent book that reminds the reader of the immense contributions that the teachings Jesus and His followers have had on the world for nearly 20 centuries.Published 3 months ago by Randall J. Beal
I challenge you to make a list of all the things cited in this book, that Christianity created. Like hospitals, orphanages, universities, etc. You'll be amazed.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Well organized and very important information that few people yet seem to know.Published 5 months ago by Rev. James and Bonnie Bound
This is a great book that provides a wonderful counter-balance to the lies of secular humanists who would have us believe that Christianity is a barbaric religion that specializes... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Happy Theologian
It was very informative and opened my eyes to how influential Christianity has been in the world. I would recommend this book to anyone.Published 7 months ago by mr. Boss