Would our world be better off without Christianity? John Lennon, in his song Imagine, asks us to consider a world without religion and the peace and prosperity that would result. The New Atheism, in much harsher terms, argues that our world would be much better without religion in general and Christianity in particular.
Jeremiah J. Johnston calls us to truly consider what our world would be like without Christianity. Johnston, in addition to be a popular Christian speaker, is a New Testament scholar. In Unimaginable, he paints for us a picture of what the ancient world was like and what the impact of Christianity was. Christianity was a radical innovation when it came to views about poverty, race and gender. Many of the advances that we celebrate today found their origins in the teachings of Jesus.
Johnston moves beyond the ancient world and introduces us to the beginnings of atheism, including the most influential figures that helped shape the skeptical world we live in today. Far from being heroes of freedom, many of these men were deeply flawed and had disturbing beliefs and disappointing lives.
Johnston is able to blend a solid scholarly understanding of both the ancient and modern world with an engaging style that makes his ideas accessible to the average person. He argues persuasively that Christianity has had a positive impact on our world and that it continues to do so.
Criticisms of Christianity are often based more on internet memes than on actual study of the evidence. Jeremiah J. Johnston’s Unimaginable does a great job of addressing the questions in their historical and philosophical context.