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Tom Holland on What Christianity Gave the World

Christianity has done nothing notable? Here’s the short list of its profound impact on humanity...

01/24/24

John Stonestreet

Timothy D Padgett

In a newly resurfaced clip from 2020, English philosopher A.C. Grayling claimed he could think of nothing truly unique that Christianity had given the world. Historian Tom Holland replied with what my colleague Shane Morris called, “one of his best ‘mic drop’ moments.”  

In about 90 seconds, Holland rattled off a list that included lifelong marriage, concepts of sexuality that protected women and children, the modern scientific project, the idea that humans bear the image of God, the universality of ethics, and more. 

As Holland put it, “Essentially what I’m talking about … is … what makes Western civilization distinctive.” These ideas ended slavery, expanded care to the poor, established democracy, educated the masses, and insisted that everyone be under the same law. The source of every one of these ideas is centuries of Christian reflection on the truths of the Bible. In short, what has Christianity given the world? Nearly everything that matters the most. 

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