John Stackhouse reflects on science, human rights, and the family.
It’s difficult for me to think, as a historian, of any important development for good in Western culture that doesn’t come from Christianity.
The growth of science and technology comes from a Christian worldview – a sense that there is a God who thinks rationally; who made the world with a rational order; made human beings with rationally ordered minds, the order of which corresponds to the order of the world such that we can understand and then deal with it in a useful way. Which is why science doesn’t emerge anywhere else. Even that comes from Christianity.
Human rights comes from Christianity. The emphasis upon the goodness of the family and domestic life as being more than a necessary evil comes from Christianity. It’s not that other cultures don’t have a sense of that, because I think in God’s grace, all human beings have moral intuitions in this way. But the robust and articulate defence of these things – indeed, the insistence on these things – comes from Christian civilisation.