You Did Not Light It

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Do you see this lantern? cried Syme in a terrible voice.’Do you see the cross carved on it, and the flame inside? You did not make it. You did not light it. Better men than you, men who could believe and obey, twisted the entrails of iron and preserved the legend of fire. There is not a street you walk on, there is not a thread you wear, that was not made as this lantern was, by denying your philosophy of dirt and rats. You can make nothing. You can only destroy. You will destroy mankind, you will destroy the world. Let that suffice you. Yet this one old Christian lantern you shall not destroy. It shall go where your empire of apes will never have the wit to find it.

― G. K. Chesterton,
The Man Who Was Thursday

The most powerful moral lever

Dallas-WillardWhat Jesus had to say about human good and evil was of sufficient depth, power, and justification to dominate European culture and its offshoots for two millennia. Nobody even has an idea of what “Europe” and the “Western world” would mean apart from Jesus and his words. The historian of morals W.E.H. Lecky describes the teaching of Jesus as “an agency which all men must now admit to have been, for good or for evil, the most powerful moral lever that has ever been applied to the affairs of man.”

A contemporary historian, Michael Grant, comments, “The most potent figure, not only in the history of religion, but in world history as a whole, is Jesus Christ: the maker of one of the few revolutions which have lasted. Millions of men and women for century after century have found his life and teaching overwhelmingly significant and moving…”

Friedrich Nietzsche is usually thought of as a bitter opponent of Jesus. But he clearly saw his indispensable role in the civilization into which Nietzsche himself had been born. He also understood that the modern world had moved off of its foundations in the Christian tradition of moral goodness, and that cataclysmic changes were to come because of this. They have come and are coming.

–Dallas Willard,
The Divine Conspiracy

Hitler deserves an honorary doctorate

German theologian, Emil Brunner, made the curious suggestion that Adolf Hitler should be posthumously given an honorary doctor of theology degree because he awakened Europe to her Christian heritage by showing what the world would be like without Christianity.

–Ravi Zacharias,
Deliver Us From Evil