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What's So Great About Christianity Hardcover – September 25, 2007
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D'Souza offers "sharp and poignant observations on...freedom and opportunity." --Wall Street Journal
From the Inside Flap
Is Christianity obsolete? Can an intelligent, educated person really believe the Bible? Or do the atheists have it right? Has Christianity been disproven by science, debunked as a force for good, and discredited as a guide to morality?
Bestselling author Dinesh D'Souza (What's So Great About America) looks at Christianity with a questioning eye, but treats atheists with equal skepticism. The result is a book that will challenge the assumptions of both believers and doubters and affirm that there really is, indeed, something great about Christianity. D'Souza reveals:
*Why Christianity explains what modern science tells us about the universe and our origins--that matter was created out of nothing, that light preceded the sun--better than atheism does
*How Christianity created the framework for modern science, so that Christianity and science are not irreconcilable, but science and atheism might be
*Why the alleged sins of Christianity--the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Galileo affair ("an atheist's fable")--are vastly overblown
*Why atheist regimes are responsible for the greatest mass murders of history
*Why evolution does not threaten Christian belief, but actually supports the "argument from design"
*Why atheists fear the Big Bang theory and the "anthropic principle" of the universe, which are keystones of modern astronomy and physics
*How Christianity explains consciousness and free will, which atheists have to deny
*Why ultimately you can't have Western civilization--and all we value from it--without the Christianity that gave it birth.
Provocative, enlightening, a twenty-first-century successor to C. S. Lewis' Mere Christianity, Dinesh D'Souza's What's So Great About Christianity is the perfect book for the seeker, the skeptic, and the believer who wants to defend his faith.
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Yet, Dinesh's book certainly does not stop there; that's only the beginning: There's Christianity and Limited Government, Science (Heck, I made the connection between Genesis and the medical term "genes"), the Theological Roots of Science, Christianity and the Invention of Invention, and I loved the chapter on Why Miracles are Possible ( It made me think how people want spectacles to see rather than miracles to believe. And how we couldn't even conceive of a miracle if none had ever happened. All things are possible. Or, how miracles don’t prove what is impossible; they confirm what is possible). Then, there's the old "Christian Inquisition" issue: Dinesh explores it with a sense of openness and critique, yet without bias.
Toward the end, Dinesh speaks to Atheism, Why Unbelief is So Appealing, and Where the Atheists Are When Bad Things Happen. While Dinesh does not indict atheists for their wait and see posture, he does make a very strong case for the rest of us--especially our youth--not to be taken in by their highly emotional rhetoric and pseudo-science claims that sound so "good" and "right."
Ultimately, Dinesh speaks to Why Man is More Than Matter. We are God's creation and God's light in the world. Our nature is light. As I read I could envision a darkened room, but the moment we turned on a light--the darkness of the room is dispersed and chased away. And it doesn't matter if the room has been dark for one week or 30 years, when our light switch is on--darkness is gone. So when Dinesh talks about man being more than matter--he's absolutely right. There's the "problems of man", and then there's "man as the problem." We must believe who and what we are. Dinesh spells it out for us in his wonderful book, What's So Great About Christianity.
I confess that I was more inclined to hear more of the cultural impact and cultural greatness of Christian ideals, than what I found in the book (How the West Won is one of my all-time favorite non-fiction books). But, D'Sousa immersed my mind in subjects I have not bothered to consider since college, and for that I am grateful.
If you are tired of the relentless assault on "the west" and Christianity in general, add this arrow of information to your quiver. It is smooth, polished, and straight (to the point!).
Decades ago, as part of a philosophical framework for further study learning, or part of a philosophy program, a subject called "Natural Theology" was taught. This was initially popularized by Averroes and St. Thomas Aquinas, masters of Aristotelian philosophy, in the 12th and 13th centuries. Later in the 19th century, it was again popularized by William Paley. Throughout the years, it was certainly part of many Liberal Arts programs. This was not based on Divine Revelation, but merely human logic (or reasoning) and human experience. As Wikipedia states, "it is part of the philosophy of religion dealing with describing the nature of the gods, or, in monotheism, arguing for or against attributes or non-attributes of God, and especially the existence of God, purely philosophically, that is, without recourse to any special or supposedly supernatural revelation." D'Sousa deserves much credit for the groundwork he covers in this area in a limited amount of space, especially since this is not the topic of the book.
One of the primary goals of a Liberal Arts education was to teach a person how to think and reason things out. This "learning to think" meant in some way to stand on the shoulders of "the giants," the intellectuals--the great thinkers of the past--who preceded us.
Most students are not apt to receive anything even resembling this type of education these days. No, our education system has been dismantled. Actually, it was dismantled purposely and systematically! It is as if D'Sousa recoils at this and is intuitively showing us that he is well-aware of this while writing this book. He does nothing without first drawing on the wisdom of the past from the world's greatest thinkers who have more than survived the test of time.
As I read this (as an audiobook) I was amazed at how D'Sousa is able to stand his ground and not only defend Christianity, but also demonstrate the contributions made to the beginnings and ongoing development of what has resulted in what we might call our modern scientific methods and its current place in society. He successfully was able to hold up the truth and value of Christianity to the attacks made by atheists, scientists, evolutionists, etc. with a very sober line of reasoning. For instance, he claims that you cannot speak about what caused the Big Bang with the laws of physics, when these (with space and time) were created in the Big Bang.
When necessary, he resorts to drawing on the knowledge of the historical sciences and philosophy to help him defend Christianity against the charges brought against it. He is also quick to move to an offensive posture and poke holes in the many of the positions of modern science based on its lack of evidence or experiential knowledge.
D'Souza, like C. S. Lewis, has a special gift for clarity in writing for ordinary readers. I certainly commend him for his abundant research, combined with such a knowledgeable, cunning, daring, insightful and readable presentation. He himself claims that this is a book which should be (or he hopes will be) read by people on both or opposite sides of the fence.