Item description for Christianity on Trial: Arguments Against Anti-Religious Bigotry by Vincent Carroll & David Shiflett...
Overview Responds to anti-Christian bigotry by demonstrating how Christian ideals have been a beneficial source of enlightenment, human liberation, and morality within the political order.
In "Christianity on Trial," Vincent Carroll and David Shiflett do not shrink from confronting the tragedies that have been perpetrated throughout the ages in the name of Christianity. But they argue that the current indulgence of anti-Christian rhetoric in our culture not only involves bad taste, but tunnel vision and willful historical illiteracy as well. Carroll and Shiflett dispassionately consider the indictment of Christianity--specifically that it has justified racism and misogyny, encouraged ignorance, and promoted the despoliation of the environment and even justified genocide. Then, in a narrative whose intellectual elegance and verve calls up comparisons to "How the Irish Saved Civilization," they answer these charges, showing how in fact the Christian tradition has not only injected morality into our political order, but softened brutal practices and confining superstitions, created the foundation for intellectual inquiry, and created the compassionate! impulse. "Christianity on Trial" challenges readers of all beliefs--even those with a belief in disbelief itself--to question the anti-religious bigotry that thrives in our intellectual world and to reevaluate the role of Christianity not only as a source of consolation but of enlightenment and human liberation as well.
Citations And Professional Reviews Christianity on Trial: Arguments Against Anti-Religious Bigotry by Vincent Carroll & David Shiflett has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Booklist - 10/15/2001 page 358
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Studio: Encounter Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.96" Width: 6.06" Height: 0.76" Weight: 0.9 lbs.
Release Date Dec 1, 2001
Publisher Encounter Books
ISBN 1893554155 ISBN13 9781893554153
Availability 0 units.
More About Vincent Carroll & David Shiflett
Carroll is editor of the editorial pages at the Rocky Mountain News.
Vincent Carroll currently resides in Denver, in the state of Colorado.
Reviews - What do customers think about Christianity on Trial: Arguments Against Anti-Religious Bigotry?
Eye-opener Jul 28, 2005
Given the extraordinary ignorance of many people regarding Western history, this book is sure to receive more than its fair share of criticism from people who are satisfied in their shallow and smug anti-religious biases.
But for people who really want to learn a more balanced view of history, this book will be a godsend.
Book does what it claims -- It defends Christianity well Oct 21, 2004
Some of the other reviews seem to have misunderstood the premise of this book. The conclusion of the introduction clearly states that both good and bad have been done in the name of Christianity. Their argument is that the bad is not the sum total of its legacy, and the remarkable achievements should be remembered as well.
I found this book to be fair, well researched, and easy to read. It does a great job of putting the issues in a historical context. In the process, it demonstrates that the accusations against Christianity are almost the opposite of what really occurred. For example, the leading philosphers of the 1700's (such as Locke, Voltaire, and Hume) were the clear defenders of slavery, while it was the strong Christian leaders who led the call for the abolition of slavery. To point out, as some do, that Christians owned slaves is to miss the point. In that day, anyone of means generally owned slaves. When you look at the leaders, you get the clear contrast between the different world views.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It is about time that the record was set straight about the lies that are being told about Chrisitianity.
The truth is just beneath the surface... Feb 4, 2004
I have always thought that one of the easiest jobs in the world would be that of lighthouse keeper. (Too bad there aren't too many openings any more!) The second easiest job might very well be exposing the truth about the influence and impact that Christianity has had on the world.
"Why?", you may ask. Because the work of God is like diamonds. God's work in the world, like diamonds, is pure and imperishable; and yet, like diamonds, if left in the open for everyone to examine, they can easily come to mischief. They can be stolen, removed from sight, counterfeits can be substituted, etc. But if one knows where the real gems are hidden, they can be easily restored to their rightful place, unblemished, as if they had never disappeared.
This book restores to it's rightful place the truth about the enormously positive impact Christianity has had upon the world. There are eight chapters, each dealing with a subject matter wherein Christianity has been unfairly, even grossly, malaigned. Chapter two, for example, demonstrates how Christian world-view led to the global elimination of slavery, not the establishment or perpetuation of it, as is falsely charged. And the facts the authors use are unassailable. No obtuse argumentation here. The facts speak for themselves, whether the topic is Christianity and slavery, Christianity and the environment , Christianity and the Third Reich, it's all here.
Read this book as the beginning of a long and rewarding journey into the truth that will set you free.
Buy this book; read it; give copies to everyone you know Dec 23, 2003
Tired of listening to religious bigots slander Christianity? Tired of the continual advance of anti-religious bigotry creeping into every level of society? Then read this book--memorize it--and give it to everyone you know. This is essential material for the modern age.
Okay, but lacking Sep 23, 2003
I'm not sure whether the thesis of this book could best be summed up as, "Christianity isn't all that bad" or "Christianity has made the world the wonderful place it is today." That depends on whether you're trying to summarize the intended or actual thesis.
This purports to be basically a book of Christian apology, in a sense: not defending the faith's tenants, but defending the faith's acts. It rightly points out that there is a lot of criticism directed toward Christianity that, were it directed toward any other religion, would be construed as bigotry. That's true enough, and a fair criticism. On the other hand, the book seems to imply that the majority of contributions Christianity has made to civilization are positive - that the scales tip toward the good. That's fine and good, but it doesn't provide enough proof of that. We never get any idea if the people and groups in each chapter are exceptions to the rule, or the standard. I got the feeling that the authors didn't know either, but were trying to pass them off as the latter.
This is particularly noticeable when we consider the two topics conspicuously missing from the book: Christian anti-Semitism and Christian misogyny. The environment, democracy, and science all rightly get chapters, but nary a word about misogyny, and only lip-service to anti-Semitism ("Okay, okay, Luther was anti-Semitic, but look at all the good things he did!"). The closest thing to mentioning misogyny, on the other hand, is perhaps a reference to the (to use their woefully inadequate understatement) "unfortunate" Salem witch trials.
On the whole, I remain unconvinced of Christianity's virtues through the centuries. It's a human institution, filled with the hatred, bigotry, and stupidity common to all people.
Still, it did make me realize that condemning the Apostle Paul for his views on slavery is to use an anachronistic morality to judge him. This is a common theme in the book, and somewhat rightly so. We can't condemn society X for being cruel when it was no crueler than any other contemporary society, even if it is vastly more vicious than our own. We can comment on it, but it doesn't make them immoral.