The Heart of Christianity… Life in Christ

“The letter turns around a question that every age has asked in different ways: What is the heart of true Christianity? [Henry] Scougal’s answer was that true Christianity consists not in the trappings of religion, not in going to church or in the saying of prayers, not in the making of orthodox affirmations or any external form. Rather, Scougal wrote, true Christianity consists in a “union of the soul with God, a real participation of the divine nature, the very image of God drawn upon the soul, or, in the apostle’s phrase, it is Christ formed within us … a divine life.”” -Rankin Wilbourne


Sometimes True, But Mostly False

“Rather than court absurdity, however, let us graciously grant that there is indeed such a thing as unthinking religious conviction, just as there is a great deal of unthinking irreligious materialism. Let us also, more magnanimously, grant the truth of the second conviction I attributed too these writers above: that religions is violent, that religion in fact kills. At least, let us grant that it is exactly as true, as intelligent significant, as the propositions ‘politics kills’ and ‘color reddens.’ For many thing are true in a general sense, even when, in the majority of specific cases, they are false.” -David Bentley Hart

Medicine and Christian History

“There was, after all, a long tradition of Christian monastic hospitals for the destitute and dying, going back to the days of Constantine and stretching from the Syrian an Byzantine East to the Western fringes of Christendom, a tradition that had no real precedent in pagan societies…” -David Bentley Hart, Atheist Delusions, pg. 30

A Society Haunted by Christianity (II)

“It is simply the case that we distant children of the pagans would not be able to believe in any of these things [i.e. altruism, social justice]–they would never have occurred to us–had our ancestors not once believed that God is love, that charity is the foundation of all virtues, that all of us are equal before the eyes of God, that to fail to feed the hungry or care for the suffering is to sin against Christ, and that Christ laid down his life for the least of his brethren.” -David Bentley Hart

Real Freedom

“In the more classical understanding of the matter, whether pagan or Christian, true freedom was understood as something inseparable from one’s nature: to be truly free, that is to say, was to be at liberty to realize one’s proper ‘essence’ and so flourish as the kind of being one was.” -David Bentley Hart

What Separates Christianity From the Rest

“Christianity is the only major faith built entirely around a single historical claim. It is, however, a claim unlike any other ever made, as any perceptive and scrupulous historian must recognize. Certainly it bears no resemblance to the vague fantasies of witless enthusiasts or to the cunning machinations of opportunistic charlatans. It is the report of men and women who had suffered the devastating defeat of their beloved master’s death, but who in a very short time were proclaiming an immediate experience of his living presence beyond the tomb, and who were, it seems, willing to suffer privation, imprisonment, torture, and death rather than deny that experience. And it is the report of a man who had never known Jesus before the crucifixion, and had once persecuted Jesus’ followers, but who also believed that he had experienced the risen Christ, with such shattering power that he too preferred death to apostasy.” -David Bentley Hart, Atheist Delusions

Sam Harris’s Inconsistent Evaluations

“He more or less explicitly states that every episode of violence or injustice in Christian history is a natural consequence of Christianity’s basic tenets (which is obviously false), and that Christianity’s twenty centuries of unprecedented and still unmatched  moral triumphs… are simply expressions of normal human kindness, with no necessary connection to Christian conviction (which is even more obviously false). Needless to say, he essentially reverses the equation when talking about Buddhism and, with all the fervor of the true believer, defends the purity of his elected creed against its historical distortions.” -David Bentley Hart, Atheist Delusions