Author: SHARON JAMES
Publisher: Christian Focus Publications
This book is a splendid tonic for anyone who has become jaded by the anti-Christian bias which is so common today. Sharon James has given us an excellent introduction to the history of how the church and individual Christians have ‘gone about doing good’ over twenty centuries.
In ten short, easy-to-read chapters, we learn how Christians have affected the world for good in areas including freedom, justice, the dignity of women, healthcare, and education. Yes, there are sins that we deplore, but there is also much good that has been done. Everyone from older children to adults could benefit from this book, Christians and non-Christians.
We are reminded that the idea of human rights can be traced ultimately to the Bible’s teaching that we are created in the image of God. Christianity and Freedom, a symposium by a team of international scholars, concluded that ‘free institutions hardly ever developed in places that were not influenced by Jewish and Christian ideas’ (p.23).
Christians began the first genuine hospitals in the Roman Empire and also in Britain. Thomas Sydenham, ‘the father of English medicine’, was motivated by his Christian faith. 19th century Britain was known for social reformation, due in part to evangelical Christians like Wilberforce, Shaftesbury, and Barnardo. Sociologist Rodney Stark, who describes himself as ‘personally incapable of religious faith’, wrote that ‘of all the world’s religions, including the three great monotheisms, only in Christianity did the idea develop that slavery was sinful and must be abolished’ (p.25).
The book is filled with encouraging facts which can also be an effective answer to those who simply don’t know all that God has done through his people. I would encourage you to buy one for yourself, and maybe one to give away!