Rodney Stark says the Christian idea of God challenged the inequalities of the ancient world.
The conception of God has been extraordinarily powerful in so many aspects of Christendom, if you will, including the rise of science. But the idea that there was a forgiving, loving God who cared as much for the widow and the slave as for the rich man – or indeed, maybe it’s easier to go through … a camel, for it to go through the needle’s eye than for the rich man to get into heaven … there was a whole view here that suggested a certain kind of equality in God. And that made a difference. Remember this was a very cruel, traditional society, and into it comes this movement that’s into kindness and benefit.