What was all that walking on water and virgin birth stuff about anyway? Nothing new, actually…
Christianity is the world’s single largest religion and is responsible for most of the course of the last 2000 years of world history. That’s not a glowing recommendation but it must be noted that much of current Western moral values have Christianity as a base.
The influence of Christianity on Western culture is enormous and is embedded as much in our values as our speech. Find a common expression in the English language and odds are it comes from either Shakespeare or the Bible. Think of images like ‘walking on water’ or ‘o ye of little faith’.
It’s still common for people, no matter how atheistic they might be to exclaim ‘Jesus!’ or ‘Jesus Christ’ when they’re shocked or amazed. Or consider the very concept of virginity, sacrifice and sin – these are all core cultural paradigms that descend directly from the Gospel Story still taught in schools across Europe and the US, not to mention wherever else Christianity holds sway in the world.
Today Christianity once again threatens to shape the course of the world with the fundamentalist sects of the USA. Religious fervour has reached the point that logic, reason and common sense have nothing to do with the issues any more as the supporters of ‘Intelligent Design’ are trying to oust the theory of evolution.
And you know the world’s gone insane when even the President and his supporters all believe in the Bible word for word. Bush once made a speech where he compared the current world events to the prophesies of End Times in the Bible. Just look at the environmental disasters, he said, the wars, the threats to our survival. The fact that the policies of the Bush administration are directly rsponsible for so many of those threats to our survival seem to have passed under the hypocrisy radar.
So despite an increasingly secular world in which science has encroached upon the domains of faith, there’s still a strong need to understand the roots and power of the dominant religion on this planet, Christianity.