Dinesh D Souza, The Greatness of Christianity: Table of Contents
Cf. Dinesh D’souza, What’s So Great About Christianity, at Amazon
“Finally it is not a matter of obedience. Finally it is a matter of love.” —Thomas More, A Man for All Seasons
NOW THAT WE KNOW WHAT MAKES CHRISTIANITY UNIQUE, we need to ask ourselves whether we should adopt it. In this book I have tried to meet the strongest critiques and objections to Christianity, but that is not always enough. Scholar and preacher John Stott tells the story of a man who was full of questions. Every time Stott answered his question, he had another question. One day Stott asked him, “If I were to answer your problems to your complete intellectual satisfaction, would you be willing to alter your manner of life?” The man blushed and smiled slightly, and Stott realized that his resistance to Christianity was not intellectual. The man didn’t want Christianity because he feared it would mess up his plans and disrupt his life.’ For many people, the reluctance to embrace Christianity is as practical as it is intellectual. They want to know what Christianity’s benefits are, and how their lives will change if they become Christians. I conclude this book by addressing these concerns.
Christianity is an embrace not merely of a teaching but also of a person. So let’s look at Christianity’s central figure, Jesus Christ. Our secular culture cannot get enough of Christ. Two thousand years after his death, he continues to be a big story, as well as the focus of never- ending controversies. The Da Vinci Code seems to have inspired a whole host of spinoffs, all alleging in some way that the Christ of the Gospels was not the real Christ. Oscar-winning director James Cameron released a documentary denying Christ’s resurrection on the basis that the tomb containing his remains has now been located. Cameron’s film also suggests that Christ married Mary Magdalene and had a son. On a trip to India I encountered the headline “Jesus Faked Death on Cross:’ According to the story, Jesus staged the whole thing to escape from his enemies. Christopher Hitchens goes further, suggesting that Christ may be a mythical rather than a historical figure, alluding to the “highly questionable existence of Jesus.”
Even some biblical scholars—a group that can be quite hostile to Christianity—engage in massive attempts at revisionism. Among their conclusions: the real Christ did not claim to be divine, he didn’t want to found a church, and his simple message of love was subsequently distorted by Christians into an elaborate theology. Typical of this debunking theology is the Jesus Seminar, a group whose members vote on whether central events in the Bible actually happened. So far, the group has decided that Christ’s divinity is a myth, the virgin birth is a myth, Christ’s resurrection is a myth, and that fewer than 20 percent of the sayings attributed to Christ were really said by him. These “discoveries” are regularly trumpeted in the media.