Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Is Christianity Good for the World?

Just finished reading Is Christianity Good for the World?, a stimulating dialogue between Doug Wilson and Chrisopher Hitchens. Both men do a fine job representing their positions. Doug in particular does a great job keeping to the main point and gradually expanding his discussion to point to the centrality of Christ for the world. His insistence on the inability of atheism to answer the most fundamental questions about life, ethics, reason, etc. was superb. He keeps coming back to this central dilemma of atheism again and again while Hitchens continues to beg the question again and again. By what means can we objectively classify one action as wrong and another as right unless we have a transcendent source of values that exists outside of space and time? Without such a standard we are doomed to folly - the very thing Paul tells us in Ephesians, "being darkened in understanding and in the futility of our mind." Hitchens lashes out at Wilson a couple times for classifying atheists as "fools" and urges the reader to pooh-pooh such name-calling as unprofessional and perhaps unethical. Nevertheless, in his last rejoinder he resorts to he same type of name-calling and illustrates that the creation of such categories is inescapable. The question is simply who has the grounds on which to categorize accurately. Scripture maintains that God has such grounds and provides those who follow His wisdom with the ability to do the same. On the whole, the book was a delightful read.