Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day 38 of Lent :: History in the Making

“These who have turned the world upside down
 have come here too.”
(Acts 17:6)

“Not only countless individual lives but civilization itself was transformed by Jesus Christ.” 
These are the words of Dr. Paul Maier, professor of Ancient History at Western Michigan University.  Professor Maier continues,

In the ancient world, his (Jesus’) teachings elevated brutish standards of morality, halted infanticide, enhanced human life, emancipated women, abolished slavery, inspired charities and relief organizations, created hospitals, established orphanages, and founded schools.

In medieval times
, Christianity almost single-handedly kept classical culture alive through recopying manuscripts, building libraries, moderating warfare through truce days, and providing dispute arbitration.  It was Christians who invented colleges and universities, dignified labor as a divine vocation, and extended the light of civilization to barbarians on the frontiers.

In the modern era, Christian teaching, properly expressed, advanced science, instilled concepts of political and social and economic freedom, fostered justice, and provided the greatest single source of inspiration for magnificent achievements in art, architecture, music, and literature that we treasure to the present day.1

Prayer: Spend time reflecting on the influences Jesus Christ has had on the history of civilization.  Think about what the world would be like today had Jesus never come to earth.

But as we gaze, it is not pity that we feel,
but a profound reverence,
for there on Calvary is the great turning point in the course of human affairs.

Hughell Fosbroke

1 Quoted by Alvin J. Schmidt, Under the Influence, 8.

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