A stirring historical model to consider…

As a stirring historical model, consider Jonathan Edwards, the Congregational pastor, scholar, and leader of the First Great Awakening. He had a wife, Sarah, reared 11 children; and by the year 1900, the family had 1,400 descendants, among them 13 college presidents, 65 professors, 100 lawyers, 30 judges, 66 physicians, and 80 prominent public officials, including 3 governors, 3 senators, and a vice president of the United States.

Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey, from How Now Shall We Live?, p. 326

If there is no God, then…

My all-time favorite novel is The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, which raises the great moral dilemmas debated by philosophers through the ages and boils them down to one unforgettable dictum: “If there is no God, then everything is permitted.”

Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey, from How Now Shall We Live?, p. 452

Humans do have a value transcending that of animals…

One consequence of [Carl] Sagan’s religion of the cosmos was that he was actively committed to the cause of animal rights. And quite logically so. For if humans evolved from beasts, there can be no intrinsic difference between them. It would be just as cruel and immoral to kill a cow as to murder a person. “In my writings,” Sagan said in a Parade magazine article, “I have tried to show how closely related we are to other animals, how cruel it is to gratuitously inflict pain on them.” As a result, he was adamantly opposed to using animals for medical research. For if animals have the same value as humans, how can we justify expending their lives to save humans. Continue reading

The human artist does not create out of nothing…

Yet unlike God, the human artist does not create out of nothing. “Human creativity is derivative and reflective, working within the bounds of what God has formed,” writes Os Guinness. As C. S. Lewis put it, “an author should never conceive of himself as bringing into existence beauty or wisdom which did not exist before, but simply and solely as trying to embody in terms of his own art some reflection of that eternal Beauty and Wisdom.”

Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey, from How Now Shall We Live?, p. 449

Darwin was simply mistaken…

The best argument against Darwinism had been known for centuries by farmers and breeders, and it can be stated in a simple principle: Natural change in living things is limited. Or, stated positively: Organisms stay true to type…

They (observed changes) represent cyclical change in gene frequencies but no new genetic information… Continue reading

Matter is not eternal after all…

Cosmology has discovered the shattering truth that matter is not eternal after all, as naturalistic scientists once confidently assumed. The universe began at a finite period of time—which in turn implies that something outside the universe must have set it going.

Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey, from How Now Shall We Live?, p. 98

The notion of separation of powers…

Another contribution of Christianity was the notion of separation of powers, based on the doctrine of the fall.

Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey, from How Now Shall We Live?, p. 403

Free from the restrictions of morality…

Americans have reached “the modernist impasse”: They were told they had the right to be free from the restrictions of morality and religion, yet as unrestricted choices have led to social breakdown, they have begun to long for the protection that morality once provided. After all, we didn’t have epidemics of crime, broken families, abortion, or sexually transmitted diseases when Americans largely accepted biblical morality. Many are beginning to understand that morality is not merely an arbitrary constraint on individual choice but a protection against social disintegration.

Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey, from How Now Shall We Live?, p. 310